When it comes to Banksy, so much time is spent obsessing on the details of his identity, whether he’s a single person or a group of artists, etc., that it’s easy to lose focus on the actual work.
His (her? their?) latest piece, dubbed “London” on the artist’s YouTube channel and captioned “If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get” on Instagram, is a solid reminder of the perpetual sense of play in his output, the wit that can be found within it, and how his satirical takes can lighten dark times and dark subjects.
The video is also a brief glimpse into his process, from donning a costume to escape attention on the London Underground to his stencil work and subsequent detailing.
The final product: A wonderland of COVID rats donning masks, using them as parachutes, offering hand sanitizer, and more, complemented by the artist’s tag (in the colors of a face mask)—a relatively rare focal point in his work these days.
And then there’s the final element that ends the video—which is worth the watch alone.
In a turn of fate that the artist(s) likely savored, the whole piece was scrubbed clean before anyone ever knew about it.
Check out the piece below, as well as a couple of his other pandemic-related works. (We’d also be remiss if we didn’t add that quarantine is a great chance to revisit his enigmatic film Exit Through the Gift Shop, too.)