Two Banksy murals pop up at venue showcasing Basquiat works

Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week.
Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (Reuters) - Two murals by British street artist Banksy have appeared at London's Barbican centre to mark an exhibition of the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a US artist who achieved fame through the New York graffiti scene.

One references Basquiat's Boy And Dog In A Johnnypump, showing a boy being searched by police officers.

"Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police - an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show," Banksy said of the work on his official Instagram feed.

The second depicts people queuing up to ride a Ferris wheel with carriages shaped like crowns, referencing Basquiat's Crown.

The Barbican show Basquiat: Boom For Real, is the first large-scale exhibition in Britain of the work of the artist, who rose meteorically in 1980s New York and died aged 27 of a drug overdose.

Banksy, who keeps his identity secret, rose to prominence through street art in the English city of Bristol in the 1990s.

His works, often stencilled onto the outside walls of buildings, combine humour and social commentary.