Banksy has achieved a level of fame that once seemed unimaginable for a graffiti artist. (Case in point: He’s the director of an Oscar-nominated film about himself, Exit Through the Gift Shop.) As his notoriety has grown, the art world has been left with one nagging question: Who exactly is he? Banksy has protected his true identity with a zeal normally associated with superheroes and serial killers, which has left his pursuers even more determined.
Now, however, there is a possible solution, thanks to a method developed to help law enforcement authorities track criminals: geographic profiling.
Geographic profiling uses “the locations of a connected series of crimes to determine the most probable area that an offender lives in.” (After all, unsanctioned graffiti is still illegal.) It doesn’t necessarily solve a crime, but is an excellent way to eliminate a suspect. In Banksy’s case, investigators took a candidate put forward by past researchers—a man from Bristol, England named Robin Gunningham—and found that (drumroll, please) he wasn’t eliminated as a possibility by geographic profiling.
Does that mean he’s Banksy? Not necessarily, but he remains the most promising contender for the still-faceless artist.
For more on the investigation of Banksy, click here. See the photos below for some of Banksy’s past efforts.