- @banksy/Instagram via Reuters
- A new artwork by the artist Banksy has appeared in the English city of Birmingham.
- The mural depicts two reindeer about to fly away, pulling with them a bench instead of Santa’s sleigh.
- The mural debuted Monday and was accompanied by a video released on Banksy’s Instagram page in which a man is seen lying down across the bench.
- The work makes a powerful statement about homelessness in the UK, which The Guardian says is at record levels.
- It also comes just two days before a general election in the UK.
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Banksy has come to the English city of Birmingham just in time to make a powerful statement about homelessness at Christmas.
The artist – whose identity has for years been one of the art world’s great mysteries – debuted a new piece of work on Instagram on Monday.
The new mural appears on a nondescript brick wall on Vyse Street in Birmingham. It depicts two reindeer – traditionally seen as a symbol of Christmas and associated with Santa Claus – about to fly away and bring with them a bench, which takes the place of Santa’s sleigh.
A short video on Banksy’s Instagram page accompanied the mural’s debut.
The video, set to the holiday song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” shows a man – identified as “Ryan” in an accompanying caption – resting his head for the night on the bench, as people and cars go past.
“God bless Birmingham,” the caption said. “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.”
Banksy’s mural and video come just days ahead of a general election in the UK.
Britons are due to head to the polls Thursday in a vote that will most likely see either the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn come to power or Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party retain their grip ahead of the UK leaving the European Union.
Social issues, including housing and homeless, have become key election talking points. According to The Guardian, homelessness in the UK has hit a record high under Conservative Party leadership.
- Read more:
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- Banksy got kicked out of the world’s biggest art event after crashing it to display his latest piece, but people love it anyway
- A Banksy painting which was dedicated to victims of the 2015 Paris terrorist attack has been stolen from the Bataclan theatre
- A Banksy artwork found on the side of a garage in Wales has been sold for 6 figures
- The new Banksy mural is under guard after being attacked by a ‘drunk halfwit’