【Banksy Reserve Malakoff】artist met Banksy without knowing it


The man who owns two of Banksy’s original works without knowing it

François is not a millionaire, he does not spend his holidays in Capri and his income is close to the SMIC.

Yet this unknown artist has 120 visuals including two originals of Banksy, the most famous street artist in the world.

He exhibited for 10 days his treasures in Paris in 2016…

But how and why…?


Street Artist in London

A chance sometimes makes things right…

François Berardino went to London in 2007 to participate in the Docklands International Festival: A free performances of theater, dance and urban art.

This street artist comedian born in Colombes in 1972 sympathizes in Camden Market with a group of guys who deal in the flea market in London, and invites them to the festival.

The next day, unexpectedly all of them are showing off to see his performance.

At the end of my show, one of them walked towards me.

He told me he was a street artist too, but in painting.

I didn’t know much about it.

So when he proposed to follow him to go to his studio, why not !


François had just met Banksy.
An encounter still not so important but it would change his life.

Banksy’s Atelier ? All Kinds Of Art in Everywhere

It was a pretty big studio, with papers everywhere.

Sketches, stencils, drawings that didn’t seem to me to be finished.

The artist asked me to choose two.

I took the little ones, the ones that could fit in my backpack.


The man picked at random and left with the Paparazzi stencil, a rat with a camera on the head.

I immediately liked it because I have Italian origin… and another — a fight between two police with “Fuck the Police” in the background.

And? That’s all.


François Berardino never saw the artist again.

It was impossible to find him or talk to him.


Returning To Vanves without knowing Banksy

image via War and Spray

It wasn’t until a few years later, while looking through Banksy’s book “War and Spray” that realized he had in his hands a work by the artist…

Returning to Vanves, he knew nothing until in 2009.

While he was looking through a book of the urban art, “War and Spray” of Banksy, he suddenly became aware of the pretty war treasure stored at home.

I immediately framed my two drawings, and that’s when I wanted to start to collect the art works of Banksy.


Banksy Exhibition : Around Banksy at Reserve Malakoff 2016

« Autour de Banksy : une rencontre de rue »
(Around Banksy. A street meeting)
1st to 11th September 2016
The Malakoff Reserve Gallery Space.
7 Rue Paul Bert, 92240 Malakoff
Admission: 3 euros, 1 free entry for Malakoffiots.

Starting in September 1st 2016, “La Reserve Malakoff” was hosting an exhibition entitled « Autour de Banksy : une rencontre de rue » (Around Banksy: A Street Meeting) dedicated to the famous British street artist, whose we know nothing about face and true identity.

Why Reserve Malakoff?

Reserve Malakoff

I live in Vanves and I had heard of a place entirely dedicated to the street art.

And when I went there, I immediately found the place is great.

After my visit, I got in touch with the organizers.

I told them about my collection and asked if they were interested in me lending them during the exhibition.

And they agreed. If the name of Banksy can bring people who don’t know this place yet, that’s great.

>> Google map

Banksy Collection by François

François Berardino in front of his Banksy collection
Sept 2016

The exhibition was based on the private collection of François Berardino known as Béru including two drawings offered by a mysterious stranger crossed on the street of London in 2007.

I started with the album covers he illustrated, vinyls of limited number of copies and were given to record companies.

Then I picked up exhibition posters, stickers, postcards.

As time went on, I began to look for everything around his work.


For the past 9 years, this comedian has collected a hundred objects around Banksy’s works.

An exhibition about Banksy at the Malakoff Reserve is still important.

Banksy at the Reserve Gallery – the central point of the Grand 8 – was in the spotlight for ten days.

The retrospective offered a beautiful trip to banksy’s world but did not satisfy all the curiosity of visitors…

Banksy’s identity? : The Rumor about Massive Attack

Massive Attack

Asked about the true identity of the most famous anonymous street art, since a rumor claimed that Banksy is a Robert de Naja, 3D, a member of the group Massive Attack, the Frenchman shakes his head:

I don’t believe it.

I don’t remember much about his face, but the resemblance doesn’t strike me.

The two artists live in Bristol, they know and appreciate each other, but I see no other similarity.

In any case, the question is not really who he is :

A lot of people know his identity, the mystery is why the authorities grant him to keep this anonymity …


But he never said he had seen Banksy

Without knowing it, he had met Banksy…

But he never said he had seen Banksy.

There is no evidence that the guy was the Banksy who he met.

And, in the end, he doesn’t care who gave them to him.

Maybe it was Banksy himself. Or maybe not.

Moreover, the drawings aren’t even his.

The most important thing is that I like them, and I like the message they convey, that’s why they made me want to start this collection.



Paris Diary written by gypsycats from Paris France
I love the art in France and Paris.
Particularly interested in Art, Travel, Fashion, etc...

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