Banksy honours Basquiat with new London murals
The murals appeared over the weekend near the Barbican Centre, which will open its exhibition on the American graffiti artist on Thursda
LONDON (AFP).- Two new murals by street artist Banksy have appeared in central London in tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat ahead of a new exhibition celebrating the US artist’s work.
One of the artworks shows a scarecrow figure, similar to Basquiat’s 1982 piece “Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump”, being searched by two police officers.
A picture of the mural appears on Banksy’s Instagram feed with the caption: “Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police — an (unofficial) contribution with the new Basquiat show”.
The second shows people queueing up to ride a Ferris wheel with crown-shaped gondolas.
The murals appeared over the weekend near the Barbican Centre, which will open its exhibition on the American graffiti artist on Thursday.
Banksy said on Instagram: “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican — a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”
The event is being billed as Britain’s first large-scale exhibition of Basquiat, an icon of New York’s post-punk underground art scene who died of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27.
He has had little exposure in Britain, and not a single work of his is held in a public collection.
Banksy shot to prominence through guerrilla art in Bristol, later extended to London, that took a sardonic view of British life, often hurling a barb at corporate greed and rightwing politics.
He gained a global audience in March by unveiling a symbol of the division of the West Bank — the “Walled-Off Hotel” in Bethlehem, just a few metres from Israel’s separation wall.
His identity is a mystery, though there have been frequent attempts to pierce his secrecy.