I've been following Banksy's work for quite some time. He has a large internet following, and I once posted about him here. Banksy has been successful at keeping his identity secret, and since I've been in the U.K. for the past six weeks, I've following his work in the newspapers.
So, when Paco introduced me to a friendly, creative man from Bristol, I jokingly said,
"So, are you the mysterious Banksy?" His face was stone.
"No, I haven't heard of him," he said, avoiding my eyes. He was helping two artists with their project, and was doing a pretty good job it, if I must say so myself.
"You haven't HEARD of him?" I asked, incredulous.
"No, never." He was still avoiding my eyes, a gesture that was incongruent with his gregarious, out-going demeanor. Over the course of the next several days, I kept an eye one him as he maneuveured his way among the social circles of the Jazz Bar. He seems to know everyone, and when I accidentally called him Banksy in a public place, he shushed me, with a dagger look that could have killed me if I hadn't been wearing my "Hand of Fatima" pendant. I tried to find out more about him when he made mojitos for Paco and I. But, even when he's a bit tipsy, he reveals little.
But, I still don't know if it's him.
I checked out the films at his website, and by George, I just can't tell.
Regardless, the coffee and the company was good.
And let's face it: I want his identity to remain secret as much as anyone else.