Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Banksy sighted on London Underground as he unveils work urging people to wear face masks

The street artist made a rare appearance in a video, showing how he dressed up as a cleaner to create his newest work

UPDATE: Banksy’s face mask artwork scrubbed from London Underground train

Street artist Banksy has unveiled his latest creation on the London Underground in an effort to underline the importance of wearing a mask on public transport amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Banksy uploaded a video titled If You Don’t Mask – You Don’t Get on to his Instagram page on Tuesday. It shows the reclusive artist wearing protective gear and spray-painting pictures of rats sneezing on the inside of the train to illustrate how not wearing a mask helps spread Covid-19.

One image features a rat holding a bottle of antibacterial handwash, while another depicts a rat using a face mask as a parachute.

The video closes with the words ‘I get lockdown’ painted on to the wall of an Underground station, followed by ‘but I get up again’ sprayed on to the inside of a train door.

Wearing face masks on public transport is compulsory in the UK, one of the countries worst hit by the virus. There have been more than 290,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country and more than 44,000 deaths.

This is the latest piece by Banksy, who rarely makes spoken statements, choosing instead to speak through his work.

Last month, the street artist shared a new piece of art on his Instagram page, seemingly inspired by the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Little is known about Banksy, who makes an effort to keep his identity hidden, revealing nothing about his personal life. However, he is never one to shy away from social commentary.

In May, a work was unveiled at a UK hospital, depicting a young boy putting his Spider-Man and Batman toys in the bin, instead choosing to play with a doll of a nurse, making her the new superhero.

A month earlier, he seemed to give the world an insight into his set-up as he too was working from home, with a bathroom covered in his trademark stencilled rats. The artist joked: "My wife hates it when I work from home."

Scroll through more of Banksy's work in the gallery below:

Updated: July 15, 2020 08:35 PM

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