He is perhaps the most famous person we know without ever having seen his face. Banksy, the world’s most famous guerrilla artist, has returned with two classic pieces after a brief hiatus.
The two new street pieces were spotted in London, one in Gillett Square Hackney, with the other spotted on the A1 in North London.
‘Ghetto Boy’, as it is now being referred, is the first work attributed to Banksy since October last year and follows previous high profile works 'One Nation Under CCTV' and ‘Kids Pledging Their Allegiance to Tesco’. This latest creation shows a child dressed in urban clothing, carrying a boombox and a teddy bear whilst wearing a gold chain with a gun hanging from it. This social commentary appears to highlight the gang culture in London and its links to hip-hop which is packaged up and sold to children and teenagers as pop music.
The second street piece, ‘Last Graffiti Before Motorway’ is located not far from his previous Tesco stencil on the Essex Road and appears less obvious in its comment. Perhaps this was done purely as he was leaving town or perhaps it really is the last piece of graffiti before the motorway. As ever with Banksy all we have to go by is an air of mystery. All of a sudden there is something fantastically amusing and clever to look in a space where none of us would consider looking in the first place.
Both the new Banksy pieces, as with all of his street work, have the distinct hallmarks that make a piece a Banksy: irreverent comments towards society and politics combined with superb placement often relating to the piece in question via a road name. It is this aspect which you could argue defines Banksy’s work as art and not simply vandalism as some people see it.