Elusive street artist Banksy has a habit of resurfacing every time a major social movement takes place. With Black Lives Matter protests and conflicts currently raging across the globe, the infamous British icon has shared a new work on his official Instagram in solidarity with the movement. The dark and brooding piece is a stark departure from the usual stencil work we are used to seeing from Banksy, however, still features that trademark poignancy that signifies his collection.
The painting shows a memorial placed around a portrait of a dark figure, alongside a candle-lit vigil that is slowly beginning to burn a US flag. The new piece not only highlights the tragic loss of life, but how the slowly deteriorating standards are starting to erode the foundations of the country.
“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,” Banksy wrote in a statement. “People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty 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.”
The latest Black Lives Matter piece is another in Banksy’s long list of political-charged artworks. The elusive British artist has previously drawn attention to major social issues, even creating a stab-proof vest for UK rapper Stormzy.