Keep Alert! The elusive street artist Banksy has taken to the underground literally by producing a series of sneezing rats warning passengers of the danger of not wearing protective masks on the tube.
His new video posted on Instagram shows a person in PPE who may or may not be the artist, pretending to give a tube carriage a deep clean. But instead, he is stencilling his trademark rats on the walls and windows of a train.
Banksy can been seen moving passengers away as he sprays rats sneezing green slime around the inside of a tube train. Another rat is depicted spraying anti-bacterial gel.
Towards the end of the video, a close-up of the words “I get lockdown” appear on the side of a station wall before a train’s doors close to reveal the phrase “but I get up again”, a reference to the 90s classic by Chumbawamba, the 1997 song Tubthumping.
A spokesperson for Transport for London (TfL) said the art was removed “some days ago” in line with its “strict anti-graffiti policy”. The work, called If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get, features a number of rats in pandemic-inspired poses and wearing face masks.
The statement from TfL said it appreciated “the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings”. “We’d like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location,” it added.
Banksy is an anonymous graffiti artist from Bristol, who uses subversive epigrams and dark humour to provide political and social commentary on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy authentication and artist enquiries or reports of stolen work should be directed to Pest Control. The latest work has appeared on the official Banksy Instagram account, the latest confirmation of an authentic Banksy.