With the imminent opening of the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat scheduled for the 21st, a couple Banksy pieces have shown up near the venue overnight. On his Instagram account, Banksy noted the irony of the Barbican, “a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls”, hosting the work of the legendary graffiti artist.
The main piece, what we like to call “SAMO Stop & Search” if you will, has been done with stencil spraypaint, freehand spraypaint and oil pastel while the smaller ferris wheel piece (incorporating Basquiat’s instantly recognizable crowns in oil pastels) has been done with stencil spraypaint, with the black base having been painted with a brush. The reference of course for the main piece is Basquiat’s Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump from 1982. This has been remixed with a recurring theme in Banksy’s work — the use of stop and search procedures — resulting in a sort of unofficial collaboration.