A new Banksy art installation been unveiled in Birmingham in the run up to Christmas.
The work, which depicts two reindeers attached to reins (Santa Claus and his sleigh are absent) is painted to the right of a street bench. A video shared by Banksy on Instagram today (December 9) zooms out of the scene where a homeless man called Ryan is seen settling down for the night – positioning him as the missing Father Christmas.
Banksy captioned the video: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.”
It’s the latest mural by the mystery street artist who is renowned for his social commentary artworks. Back in May, Banksy created a mural in Venice that shows a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare.
According to BirminghamLive, the new artwork is thought to have been painted on a brick wall on Vyse Street in the city’s Jewellery Quarter.
The work is of course open to interpretation but we’ll wager it’s Banksy’s way of highlighting how many people will be without food, shelter and company this Christmas – at a time when it should be the opposite.
In other news, a “stolen” artwork first left by Banksy in central London was expected to fetch up to £1m at auction, despite an ongoing feud over the rightful ownership of the piece. The auction has since been pulled.