What data analytics, Banksy and Massive Attack has in common?

It is not possible to live in the digital era with all the social media and to be unfamiliar with Banksy`s art. He is a graffiti artist with really impactful visuals touching political issues and the problems of our times as no one before. And his identity is still a mystery.

Mathematicians from the Queen Mary University of London analyzed 192 pieces created by the infamous street artist in London and Bristol via geographical profiling. They managed to point an address in Bristol, a pub, and few other addresses in London. The data scientists said that there is a high probability that Banksy lives or has lived there.

British tabloids with their perfect sense of sensations even managed to pop out the name of Robin Gunningham as Banksy, since he had lived on or close to all of those spots.

The mathematical method used here has been used to identify serial criminals but it can also help to determine the origin of infectious disease outbreak.

This data analytics story becomes far more interesting with the recent input made from the investigative journalist Craig Williams who says that a member of Massive Attack trip hop band might be the person behind Banksy. He adds that he might be Robert Del Naja who is the visual guy at Massive Attack or someone in his crew.

The journalist presented an interesting correlation between world tour of Massive Attack and the appearance of Banksy murals right after their gigs. Williams` investigation states that six Banksy artworks were reported in San Francisco on May 1st, 2010 right after Massive Attack performed in the city on April 25 and 27th. Massive Attack had gigs in Toronto just a few days before Banksy mural were reported there. There is the same correlation in Boston, Melbourne, New Orleans and Los Angeles.


Since we already know that correlation doesn’t mean causation we cannot completely credit such statements. Asked for a comment, Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack denied he could be Banksy but said that he is a friend of him and the rest of the band, he enjoys their music and often visits their gigs.

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