The anonymous U.K. artist Banksy is known for darkly comic, satirical street art. But like others, he’s having to work from home during lockdown. His latest work, shared on his official Instagram account, pays tribute to the healthcare workers who are making huge sacrifices and risking their lives to provide care to the huge numbers of people who have been infected with the new coronavirus.
Banksy’s new piece, called “Game Changer,” shows a child playing with a nurse toy, while the more traditional (and celebrated) superheroes Batman and Spider-Man lie discarded in a bin. The entire thing is in black and white, apart from a pop of red on the cross on the front of the nurse’s uniform.
Like any superhero, she has her arm extended as if she’s flying and a cape floating behind her. And, of course, she’s wearing her face mask.
The original “Game Changer,” which is approximately one meter (a little more than a yard) square, has been framed and is now on display at Southampton general hospital in England, reported The Guardian. Banksy also left a note for hospital workers that read, “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”
A spokesperson for the artist confirmed to The Guardian that after lockdown measures are lifted, the piece will be put on public display and auctioned to raise money for National Health Service charities in the U.K.
It isn’t Banksy’s only artwork during lockdown. On April 15, he shared a series of graffiti images showing rats causing chaos in his bathroom on Instagram, with the caption, “My wife hates it when I work from home.”
Banksy has been active since the 1990s (as a political activist and film director as well as one of the biggest names in the modern art world), but nobody has managed to confirm his true identity. He shuns the limelight, and it’s believed that he hates that his pieces often sell for huge amounts of money. In fact, in 2018 a print of one of Banksy’s most famous works (“Girl With Balloon”) shredded itself just after it was sold at auction for £1 million, or about $1.2 million.
So, what do you think of Banksy’s tribute to healthcare workers?