Banksy’s latest in-your-face piece is about the importance of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, a video posted to the anonymous and famous street artist’s Instagram account showed a man — believed to be the elusive artist himself — donning what appears to be a hazmat suit as he enters London’s Underground.
The suited man can be seen getting on the train and shooing fellow passengers away as he begins stenciling Banksy’s signature rats to the walls of the car.
The man also writes “Banksy” in pale green spray paint across the driver’s door of a train.
The piece, captioned “If you don’t mask – you don’t get,” features one rat appearing to sneeze and spread the coronavirus, represented by pale green paint, throughout the train. Another rat is holding hand sanitizer while multiple rats use face masks as parachutes.
At the end of the video, the words “I get lockdown” appear on the side of a station wall through opened train doors. When those train doors close, the phrase “but I get up again” appears on the doors. After the doors shut, Chumbawamba’s 1997 song “Tubthumping” plays.
The BBC notes that all passengers on London’s Underground are required to wear face masks.
Banksy’s art tends to offer commentary on current cultural, political and social issues. In June, for instance, an Instagram post by the artist suggested what could be done to a statue of a slave trader that was toppled over and dumped into England’s River Avon during what appeared to be a rally.
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