Rumors have been circulating that anonymous prankster artist Banksy might actually be Massive Attack member 3D (real name Robert Del Naja), or at least a group of artists headed by him. Glasgow Live writer Craig Williams posited the idea in an article on September 1, in which he charts Banksy artworks popping up at the same time/location as Massive Attack tour dates over the last 20 years. Del Naja was a highly regarded graffiti artist, an early pioneer of using stencils, and has been cited by Banksy as an influence. From the article:

A rumour exists that Banksy’s work which went up around North America was not necessarily painted by him, but rather by a street team that happened to be following the Massive Attack tour.

In 2006, Massive Attack embarked on a US tour which saw them play in Berkley,California, on September 22 and the famous Hollywood Bowl venue, Los Angeles, on September 24. These concerts were the week after Banksy held his ‘Barely Legal’ exhibition in the Los Angeles over the weekend of September 15 to 17.

Fast forward two years to 2008, and Banksy returned to the US to produce 14 stencils throughout New Orleans marking the upcoming third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Del Naja wrote the soundtrack alongside fellow Massive Attack member Neil Davidge to the New Orleans-themed documentary ‘Trouble the Water’. It received its New Orleans premiere on the August 17 that year – the same time, almost to the day, that the stencils appeared.

What do you think?

In more concrete news, Massive Attack are set to release a new single, “Dear Friend,” featuring James Massiah. A limited edition 12″ will be available at their hometown gig in Bristol, UK this weekend. Their current single is “The Spoils” which features Hope Sandoval. The video for that, which stars Cate Blanchette, is below.