The mysterious street artist Banksy has immortalized himself with several works in war-torn Ukraine. The Brit only published photos of one picture on his Instagram channel until Sunday noon.
But other works in several Ukrainian cities are by the world-famous artist, whose identity is unknown, according to the British news agency PA, citing Banksy's PR agency. Accordingly, Banksy left his mark in the capital Kyiv and in the badly damaged suburbs of Borodjanka and Irpin.
Many Ukrainians are enthusiastic
The image, posted to Instagram, shows a girl seemingly doing a handstand on the rubble against the gray wall of a destroyed house. "Borodjanka, Ukraine" reads the accompanying text. The publication on his Instagram channel is traditionally seen as a sign that Banksy confirms a work as his. According to a reporter from the Ukrainian channel 1 1, the house on which the picture was placed, about half a meter high, was destroyed by a Russian bomb.
Ukrainians were enthusiastic on social networks. "Thank you for inspiring people with your work and reminding that the war is not over and many people, including children, are fighting for freedom," a user from Ukraine commented on the picture on Instagram.
Borodyanka, northwest of the capital Kyiv, was captured by Russian troops on February 24 shortly after the start of the war. In April, Ukrainian units were able to liberate the settlement. Ukraine accuses Russian troops of committing "mass atrocities" in the suburb, as well as in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin. These include murder, kidnapping, torture and rape.
A tank trap as a seesaw
As confirmed by PA, other works in Ukraine, which are done in the artist's signature spray style, are also by Banksy. In Borodyanka, for example, a wall shows a child throwing a grown man to the ground while playing judo - apparently an allusion to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is a keen judoka.
"We are stronger than David. You are weaker than Goliath," the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense commented on the work on Twitter, adding: "Possibly by Banksy." A rhythmic gymnast wearing a neck brace and holding a ribbon dances over a hole in a wall in the Kiev suburb of Irpin. Another work shows two children on the central Kiev Maidan using a metal tank trap as a seesaw. Elsewhere, on the yellow wall of a building, a person can be seen wearing a gas mask and a fire extinguisher.
The famous street artist has also traveled to crisis areas in the past, including the West Bank. He is also committed to helping refugees and has financed, among other things, a ship for rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Many works are socially critical. In the summer, several pictures that Banksy put on walls on the English North Sea coast caused a stir. Among them was a rat in a lounge chair sipping a cocktail. The area was once a popular holiday destination for many Britons, but has been economically neglected for decades and is now rather impoverished.
Banksy's works fetch millions at auction
Banksy's identity and age remain unknown. When the British University for the Creative Arts awarded him an honorary professorship, his chair remained empty. The only thing that is fairly certain is that he comes from the western English city of Bristol. His works fetch millions at auction. However, he repeatedly criticizes the traditional art world with museums and galleries.
Several times people have denied that they are the mysterious artist. Possibly, however, Banksy's stay in Ukraine could lead to evidence of his identity. Rumors about the presence of the British street artist already existed before his Instagram entry. According to eyewitnesses, the graffito was applied in Borodyanka on October 30. A Ukrainian told media that the sprayer who was doing the spraying was 45 to 50 years old.