The art world will never be too snobby for its own good while Banksy is in charge. Like a painterly Robin Hood, he constructs imagery with symbolism that steals back the ideas from the rich that he believes were taken from the poor or underserved. Recently, the British artist painted two new murals on the side of the Barbicon centre for the arts in London just before the opening of its major retrospective on the American artist and superstar Jean Michel Basquiat.
Commenting on his verified Instagram that the centre ‘is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls,’ Banksy essentially stuck his thumb in the institution’s nose for its willingness to present the kind of work it would generally denigrate, if not for the name made famous by visionaries in the 1980s. The smaller of the two works — about the size of two sheets of letter-size paper placed together — shows a crowd in front of a merch booth (reminiscent of his 2006 print ‘Festival,’), waiting to get on a Ferris Wheel with Basquiat’s signature crown icon in place of seat buckets.
The other mural is a life size depiction of two cops (rendered in grayscale) patting down a brightly-colored Basquiat figure.
Learn more about the circumstances surrounding these Banksy street art pieces in the original article by The Guardian.