Banksy has decided to leave a lasting impression ahead of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s first large-scale exhibition in central London this week, making a statement that proves he’s silently backing the former street artist.
Basquiat challenged the ideals surrounding the Barbrican’s strict graffiti removal policy during his lifetime, making Banksy’s two newest works an act of encouragement.
With two new murals put up at the Barbican overnight, Banksy’s message resonates with the ongoing issue of racial inequality in the United States, in particular referencing the patronising stop-and-frisk procedures. Furthermore, it stands against the Barbrican’s longterm graffiti policy.
Basquiat started his career as a street artist in 1970s New York, experiencing his own difficulties with the police throughout his time on the streets as SAMO©.
Banksy’s first mural shows a portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police, referencing Basquiat’s 1982 painting, Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, of a man being frisked by police.
The second mural shows a ferris wheel and queue of customers, including several of Basquiat’s iconic black oil pastel crowns.
Banksy took to Instagram to deem the work an “Unofficial collaboration wth the new Basquiat show”.
The exhibition Boom for Real kicks off on September 21, 2017.