Two new Banksy murals have been appeared in London, ahead of a new exhibition that celebrates the work of American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The new artwork by the elusive artist emerged in a tunnel close to the Barbican Centre, where the new exhibition is being held.
Basquiat began his career as a graffiti artist in 1980’s New York and went on to become an acclaimed painter before his death from a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27.
Now, Banksy has pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of the exhibition with his new mural, describing the Barbican Centre as “a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”
One mural is presented on a chalkboard-like surface and shows a line of people queuing up to ride a ferris wheel, with the carriages shaped like crowns. You can see it below.
Another is a portait of Basquiat, with Banksy offering a unique depiction of the artist as he is frisked by Metropolitan Police officers.
Captioning the photo, he wrote: “Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.”
Banksy also recently donated £205,000 from the sale of his latest artwork to peace campaigners.
‘Civilian Drone Strike’ shows three drones bombing a child-like drawing of a house, with a shocked girl and her dog next to it.
Money from the sale of the piece was split between Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), and human rights group Reprieve. It was on display at the Stop the Arms Fair art exhibition in east London, which ended last Friday.
Earlier this year, the search to reveal the true identity of Banksy took an unexpected turn after D&B legend Goldie appeared to suggest that the artist is in fact Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja.
Speaking to Scroobius Pip for his Distraction Pieces podcast, the legendary DJ can be heard referring to Banksy as “Rob” (or “Robert”, as some listeners appear to hear).
He said: “For something like graffiti, which has inspired the world with font or anything to do with anyone wearing a baseball cap and fucking sneakers, at its centre it is still misunderstood. But give me a bubble letter and put it on a t-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it and we’re sorted… We can sell it now”.