From establishing Gross Domestic Product, an online store prompting the question “why does art matter?”, to shredding his work moments after an auction – if we truly thought we’ve seen it all, we’ve severely underestimated Banksy.
Making headlines for the umpteenth time, the anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist and film director unveiled his latest and perhaps most conscious piece yet. Coming out in support of the Black Lives Matter initiative and protest, Banksy’s painting depicts a vigil with flowers, a burning candle, and a framed picture below an American flag affixed to a wall.
“At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue, but why would I do that? It’s not their problem. It’s mine. People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. This fault system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs. This is a white problem and if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in” – Banksy.
Paying tribute to the late George Floyd, who was unjustly murdered by police on camera, the painted flames burn through the corners of the American flag – potentially symbolizing the effects of police brutality and systemic racism on the overall society.