Anonymous England-based street artist Banksy’s latest Christmas-themed mural appeared on a brick wall in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter, and combines fantasy festive imagery with the very real issue of homelessness.
Banksy unveils new street art in Birmingham to highlight homelessness this Christmas
A genuine Banksy art installation been created in Birmingham, in the UK’s West Midlands. Banksy, the anonymous England-based street artist and social activist, shared his latest artwork on Instagram on Monday (9 December) with a video featuring a homeless man.
Artist soon became a trending topic on Twitter and the painting has been widely praised
A mural by mysterious artist Banksy has been painted on to a brick wall on Vyse Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The mural shows a pair of black and white reindeer taking off into the sky. However, instead of pulling a present-filled sleigh, their reigns lead towards a public bench by the wall. The video (below) shows a homeless man setting up his bed for the night, propping up his belongings up on one end of the bench before leaning back and putting his feet up.
As the scene then zooms out, however, it becomes apparent the homeless man is meant to depict Father Christmas in his magical sleigh, with his belongings representing the bag of presents and the bench playing the part of the sleigh.
Banksy’s work often highlights social issues, and this piece is no different. Although the mural is up to interpretation, it seems to point towards the fact that while most people are out Christmas shopping, decorating their warm, cosy homes and celebrating with loved ones, there are thousands of people left out in the cold with nowhere to call home at Christmas.
Throughout the video, a rendition of Johnny Mathis’s song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” plays, creating further contrast to the theme of homelessness.
News of Banksy’s new mural quickly spread and the artist soon became a trending topic on Twitter after sharing his latest work. The post racked up more than one million likes in three hours and the painting has been widely praised, with social media users describing the artist as a ‘genius’.
HOW TO HELP THE HOMELESS AT CHRISTMAS
While many people may be revelling in the festivities in the lead up to Christmas, those who are sleeping rough on the streets don’t have the same luxury. Providing homeless people with care and support is an important course of action throughout the year, not just during the festive period. There are many ways for you to do your bit to help the homeless at Christmas, from donating money and clothes to taking part in an exciting fundraising event. Here are seven ways you can make a positive difference for someone living without a roof over their head.