In honour of American street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy has unveiled two new murals near London’s Barbican Centre, an area known to be graffiti-free (or at least now it used to be).
The elusive artist’s works were spotted in a tunnel close to the city’s biggest performing arts venue. Both mark the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Basquiat, who died at age 27 in 1988 from a suspected drug overdose.
In an Instagram post, Banksy confirmed that the murals are his, and that the pieces are part of an “(unofficial) collaboration” between the two artists.
His first post features a Ferris wheel with Baquiat’s trademark crowns adorning it. The caption reads: “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”
The second post shows an artwork inspired by Basquiat’s 1982 work Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump. The caption reads: “Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police – an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show.”
The exhibition, which comes nearly 30 years since Basquiat passed away, will have more than 100 works from different creatives. The event, taking place from September 21, will be the biggest ever UK celebration on the artist.