Banksy confirms new Barbican murals are his, dedicated to US artist Basquiat
Basquiat was a graffiti artist based in New York City, who died in 1988 aged 27, following a suspected drug overdose.
One of Banksy’s new murals depicts a Ferris wheel with its seats replaced by crowns – a likely reference to the black American artist who frequently used the motif.
Banksy captioned the Instagram post: “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”
The second mural supposedly represents Basquiat himself being stopped and searched by police.
“Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show,” Banksy said on Instagram.
The design was likely inspired by Basquiat’s ‘Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump’ – one of his most famous works.
It may also be an allusion to how the artist would likely have been treated had he operated in modern-day London, given the disproportionate use of police stop and search against black and minority youths.
The City of London Corporation is yet to decide on the fate of the two artworks by one of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artist.
“We plan to discuss the pieces with City Corporation colleagues and Barbican residents over the next few weeks,” a spokesman for the local authority said, according to the BBC.