Two new artworks by the controversial and elusive street artist, Banksy, have appeared on the walls of the Barbican Centre ahead of its exhibition Basquiat: Boom for Real.
The artworks were later confirmed as genuine on the artist’s Instagram account in a series of posts, the first of which is captioned “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.” The first image is of a ferris wheel with people queueing at its’ ticket booth and crowns (a common motif in Basquait’s work) instead of passenger cars. Here, Banksy appears to be mocking the exhibition as a whole as Jean-Michel Basquiat himself originated as a graffiti artist. The second post is a clear nod to Basquiat’s famous Boy and Dog in Johnnypump and is captioned “Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.” This second, and larger, mural appears to be passing comment on how Basquiat would be treated if he was working in London today where those from black and ethnic minority groups are far more likely to be “stopped and searched” by the Police.
Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK and will run from 21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.