Shepard Fairey – no slouch in the publicity department himself – interviews the ever-elusive graffiti artist Banksy for Swindle magazine. Though we didn’t unearth any smoking guns about Banksy’s true identity (grew up in Bristol, idolized an older street artist who went on to found Massive Attack, designed a Blur album) he does relay an interesting anecdote about painting on the Palestinian side of the Israeli government border.
“We certainly weren’t doing it under the cloak of darkness; you’d get shot. We were out in the middle of the day, making it very clear we were tourists. Twice, we had serious trouble with the army, but one time the Palestinian border patrol pulled up in an armored truck. The Israeli government makes a big fuss about how they own the wall, despite building it right through the farmland of Palestinians who have been there for generations, so the Palestinian border police don’t give a shit if you paint it or not. They parked between the road and us, gave us water, and just watched. It’s probably the only time I’m ever going to paint whilst being covered by a cop from a roof-mounted submachine gun.” Now go read the entire interview courtesy of Swindle magazine.