Renowned street artist Banksy has struck again. The elusive artist hung a new artwork near the emergency department of a hospital in England overnight as a gift to healthcare workers amid the coronavirus health crisis.
The painting was hung in the foyer of Southampton General Hospital with the collaboration of hospital mangers.
The artist left a note for hospital workers, which read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white,” the BBC reports.
The largely monochrome painting, which is one square metre, depicts a boy in overalls kneeling next to a bucket of toys.
He is playing with an action figure of an NHS nurse. She is held high above his head flying like a superhero, while in the basket Batman and Spiderman lay forgotten.
The nurse is wearing a face mask and apron emblazoned with the Red Cross logo, the vibrant red is the only colour.
The painting will remain in the foyer until Autumn, when it will be auctioned off to raise money for the NHS.
Paula Head, CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends.
“The fact that Banksy has chosen us to recognise the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honour.”
Banksy paints a mysterious figure in the art world; his real identity is not known and he is a lover of pranks.
In October 2018 he sold a painting, which self-destructed seconds after auction. The auction house Sotheby’s called it “the first work in history ever created during a live auction.” Banksy claimed the prank was prepared “a few years ago” and inspired by a quote from Picasso: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
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