Batman and Spider-Man have been put aside for now. Today’s heroes have the cloak, but above all the mask! The new Banksy artwork celebrates nurses and other healthcare professionals engaged in the fight against coronavirus. The work, Game Changer, was put on display at the Southampton general hospital.
Banksy and the heroes of today
The painting differs somehow from what the mysterious Bristol artist has accustomed us to. First of all, it is not a graffiti, and with the current lockdown policies, it is right that it is so. Moreover, if the distinctive character of his production had always been a lashing criticism, this new creation has a completely different purpose! Game Changer is an intimate, celebratory piece.
The painting depicts a boy in dungarees playing with superheroes. Be careful though: Batman and Superman are confined to the basket. The hero with whom the child plays is not in costume, but in uniform: it is a nurse with a face mask and apron featuring a red cross.
Banksy left a note for hospital workers, saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.“
A spokesman for Banksy has already announced that after the lockdown the piece will be auctioned. The money will all go entirely to NHS charities.
Paula Head, the chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS foundation trust, said: “It will be valued by everyone in the hospital as people get a moment in their busy lives to pause, reflect and appreciate this piece of art. It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.“
Banksy’s Art in lockdown
The new Banksy artwork is the second that the artist produces during the lockdown. The first featured images of rats wrecking disarray in his bathroom. He shared it on his Instagram account with the caption: “My wife hates it when I work from home.”
Rats are a recurring component in Banksy’s works. They represent the least, the marginalized of society.
In this case, the whimsical artist depicts nine. One hanging from the towel ring, the other stepping on a tube of toothpaste or knocking the bathroom mirror to one side. Especially attracts that reflected in the mirror: it appears to be counting the days of lockdown while another is swinging from the light cord!
The coronavirus emergency also makes its effects on The girl with the pearl earring masterfully reinterpreted by Banksy in 2014. In the version of the modern artist, the earring had been replaced by an alarm from the ADT security system. When Banksy posted the work on the site, he renamed it with a new title, The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum.
A blue mask appeared on the face of The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum on the night of 21-22 April. It is not known who touched up the murals. To date, the mysterious artist has not yet claimed this interesting transformation.