Street-artist Banksy has been trending on social media this week due to his latest art piece spray painted on the London Underground.
The piece, which he documented and uploaded to his Instagram account includes rats (spray painted) sneezing all over the chairs and hand rails of the train. Banksy’s post is accompanied by the caption that reads ‘if you don’t mask, you don’t get’. In the video posted to his Instagram, Banksy sports a Hazmat suit and protective face gear as he walks onto the tube with his stencils and gets to work. The chorus to ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba plays in the background as Banksy spray paints the line ‘I get lockdown, but I get up again’ on the closing doors of the train. The video was posted shortly after the government announced that face masks will be mandatory in shops from July 24th.
So, how did the internet react? It’s a pot of mixed reviews. One Banksy Instagram follower commented on the song choice used in his video, saying ‘we get knocked down, but we get up again!’ showing their appreciation for the reminder that we are all going through this pandemic together. Another commenter explains ‘we need more positive doodles on the train during this difficult time’, whilst critics refer to his piece as ‘vandalism’ and the ‘opposite of urban art’. The video, posted on Wednesday 15th of July, now has 4.2 million likes and 22.4 thousand comments.
During the 48 hours Banksy’s post went live, it started to go viral on Twitter, with multiple trending hashtags that include #MaskMoaner, #NoMask and of course, #Banksy. Here’s what tweeters had to say:
Knowing a huge sum of his large Instagram following won’t be using the London Underground anytime soon, he filmed himself creating his artwork to make a health and safety announcement. Public figures, including artists, musicians, actors and many more are communicating with their audience throughout this pandemic in very different ways than they have previously. Who do you think will spray paint an attention-grabbing message all over their social media next?
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