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The last time I was excited to watch the news was 4 years ago, when I was in the 7th grade. Almost everyday that October, a new Banksy mural or public art piece was found. Each piece had New Yorkers flooding in excitement just to get a glance. I have been infatuated with him ever since.
If you don’t know who Banksy is, you’re not alone. The political street artist has managed to keep his identity a secret from the public and even the police. All we really know is that he is around 44, from England and is extremely charitable.
We can also infer that he has a lot of money. It takes money to ensure people stay quiet, and there is no way he could accomplish anything in secret alone. He also has had people openly working with him, like at his 2015 temporary art installation (featuring work from other artists as well): a “bemusemnt” park called Dismaland in England. It was filled with unhappy and monotone employees and pieces that represented a gruesome and sinister twist on Disney stories or characters. (I highly suggest looking up pictures. Fun Fact: My grandfather went and sent me Dismaland shirts in which I am keeping in pristine condition). But I am not here to educate you on the history of Banksy, I’m here to talk about how he is back in New York.
On Thursday, March 16th, Banksy painted a mural of Turkish artist Zehra Dogan. Zehra has been in prison for one of her watercolor paintings that depicts the destruction being done to a Kurdish town in Turkey. Three days ago on Instagram , Banksy posted her picture and captioned “One year ago Zehra Dogan was jailed for painting this watercolor of a photograph she saw in the newspaper. Protest against this injustice by regramming her painting and tagging Turkey’s President Erdogan @rterdogan #FREEzehradogan”.
The mural is a collection of slash marks, representing the days Zehra has spent in prison so far, as well as appearing as jail bars. In one set of 5, we see a portrait of Zehra looking out from behind them. If you look closely, the bar she is holding is actually a pencil.
The mural, which is a collaboration between Banksy and NYC street artist Borf, is brilliant to say the least.
Zehra apparently has no knowledge of the mural, but it’s a wonderful thing that everyone else does
You can find this mural (hopefully) still on Houston & Bowery.
Take a photo, share it.
Find a photo, share it.
Everyone should know of this injustice.
Left: Zehra's painting
Right: The photo the painting was based on.
Both found on Banksy's instagram account.
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Making noise through multiple mediums since 2001.