Banksy confirms seven new murals in Ukraine

Written by Sophie Tanno, CNN
Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

three days later banksy debuted his latest mural on Instagram, spray-painted on the wall of a bombed-out building in the city of Borodianka, Ukraine, the anonymous street artist confirmed that he has completed seven new works in Ukraine in total.
banksy confirmed the news to The Art Newspaper after a series of murals suspected of being his appeared in the liberated Ukrainian city, which lies about 35 miles northwest of Kyiv. Other works are located in the capital and other cities in the region.
Borodianka, which was hit particularly hard by Russian airstrikes in the first weeks of the conflict, was the first site in Ukraine where Banksy confirmed the new street art.

Borodianka, which was hit particularly hard by Russian airstrikes in the first weeks of the conflict, was the first site in Ukraine where Banksy confirmed the new street art. Credit: Ed Ram/Getty Images

The first identified artwork, which went viral over the weekend, shows a gymnast balancing on a pile of rubble on the side of a building damaged by Russian attacks.

The graffiti artist posted three images of the piece on social media Friday, with a simple caption reading “Borodyanka, Ukraine,” an alternate spelling for the city’s name.

A mural shows a man being knocked over during a martial arts match with a child.

A mural shows a man being knocked over during a martial arts match with a child. Credit: Ed Ram/Getty Images

Another piece of art shows a small boy, dressed in a martial arts uniform tied with a black belt, flipping a grown man onto his back. Some have linked the image to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose honorary black belt was revoked earlier this year by World Taekwondo, though Banksy has not publicly commented on the image or its meaning.

Other murals showed two children using a metal tank trap as a seesaw, and a woman in hair curlers and a gas mask holding a fire extinguisher.

Borodianka It was hit particularly hard by Russian airstrikes and shelling in the early days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, with many buildings reduced to heaps of rubble by long-range strikes. It was home to 13,000 people before the war, but most fled after the Russian invasion. What remained of the city was occupied by Russian forces, which moved in on February 28.
Wearing a neck brace, a rhythmic gymnast performs in a new Banksy piece painted on the wall of a residential building in Irpin, Ukraine.

Wearing a neck brace, a rhythmic gymnast performs in a new Banksy piece painted on the wall of a residential building in Irpin, Ukraine. Credit: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The city returned to Ukrainian control on April 1 and returning residents they found their homes ransacked and shops ransacked with windows broken and contents stolen. Since then it has been the focus of reconstruction efforts, with several tower blocks demolished as a result of damage from the fighting.

The series is the first set of Banksy artwork to appear since last summer’s “Great Britain Spraycation”, in which the enigmatic artist left behind his trademark pop art commentary on sites in several British seaside towns.

Internet speculation grew before the artworks were confirmed.

Internet speculation grew before the artworks were confirmed. Credit: Ed Ram/Getty Images

Last year, the artist also focused his efforts on raising funds for social and political causes, auction of a painting for a record $23.1 million to UK healthcare organisations, and selling t-shirts in support of anti-racist protesters arrested for tearing down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. (Protesters were cleaned of charges in January.)

After confirming his authorship of the gymnast’s mural, many Ukrainians and supporters of the country before its invasion thanked the artist in comments and posts on social networks.

“This is such a historic moment for our country, that people like Banksy and other famous figures come here and show the world what Russia has done to us,” a Kyiv resident told Al Jazeera English in an interview. video posted on Twitter on Sunday.

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