Banksy Returns With Brilliant Homage To Basquiat At The Barbican

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 78 months ago

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Banksy Returns With Brilliant Homage To Basquiat At The Barbican

A trio of B-words have combined for something special. Banksy. Basquiat. Barbican.

That's right, two new Banksy artworks have popped up beneath the Barbican Centre. They're on the corner of Golden Lane and Beech Street, and reference famed American artist Jean Michel Basquiat.

The above piece is a take on Basquiat's Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, except the titular boy is getting a frisk from the British police. Then on the left there's a thief grabbing a crown, and sprinting off. We suspect this isn't part of the original Banksy piece, as it's not in his original Instagram post. However, as both Banksy and Basquiat knew too well, graffiti artists adding to other's work has always been fair game in this world.

The second image shows punters queueing for a carousel, but the carriages are made from crowns. These crowns are a recurring visual motif from Basquiat's oeuvre. Again there's a possible addition, a physical tinfoil crown beneath the piece — we're not sure whether Banksy left it here himself.

The placement of the two works is no mere coincidence. The Barbican has a Basquiat career-retrospective of the trailblazing street artist. In true Banksy fashion, he's decided to mock the Barbican's treatment of street art with his caption on Instagram, saying that the institution is "normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls."

The pieces are easy to find, thanks to the swarm of people snapping pics and even posing with them. The Barbican has even sent someone official out there, perhaps to ward off any more rogue graffiti artists planning on making their own 'improvements'.

Like with all Banksys, part of the fun is seeing how long this one will last. We'll take guesses down in the comments beneath.

Last Updated 18 September 2017