Two days ago, we brought you news about a pricey eBay auction that was selling the identity of wily UK street artist, Banksy. Bids totaled in numbers close to a million clams for a paper containing the legal name of the artist, who was recently featured in 'Exit Through the Gift Shop.' By all means, seller jaybuysthings' account seemed like an average eBay user's profile, but speculation that jay could be Banksy himself playing another practical joke thickened the plot. Though the auction was supposed to end Wednesday evening, all links leading the the listing had been pulled down before then leaving everyone with another dead end.
We contacted jaybuysthings via email to find out what happened. The listing had been previously pulled because the seller wasn't offering any kind of real, tangible product (hence the piece of paper). When we identified who we were and asked why it had been torn down a second time, someone (email name listed as "Unknown, Unknown") replied asking for proof of our professional affiliation. We shared the link to our original story about the eBay auction as identification and received this response, with a picture attached (see it bigger in the gallery below) around 3 AM today:
"I spent 3 years finding the answer.
I was paid off, now I can tell you nothing.
All I can give you is this photograph."
Was jaybuysthings paid off to keep Banksy's identity a secret, explaining why the auction was torn from eBay? That seems like the antithesis of what Banksy stands for, but perhaps that's another reason to conclude this could be the artist himself? Whether this is him or not, we hope Banksy/Robert/Robden/Robin Gunningham/Robin Banks is tickled that the art of absurdity is clearly alive and well.