Banksy confirms seven new murals on war-damaged buildings in Ukraine

Renowned anti-authoritarian British street artist Bansky has confirmed seven new murals around Ukraine. His works can be found on buildings in various locations, including Kyiv, Borodyanka, and Irpin – some of the hardest hit by Russian airstrikes. 

The first artwork to be identified displays a young female gymnast performing a handstand on a pile of rubble on the side of a war-damaged building in Borodianka. The artist posted three images of the work on social media on November 11th, captioned “Borodyanka, Ukraine”, which went viral.

Another of his works depicts a child throwing a man – said to resemble Russian president Vladimir Putin – to the floor in a Juda match. His third mural can be found on the side of a ruined building in Irpin and shows another young female gymnast performing a ribbon routine with a neck brace, suggesting that she has been hurt.

Nur photo // Getty Images

Other murals show two children using a “hedgehog” tank trap as a seesaw; a woman in her dressing gown wearing a gas mask and hair curlers; a bearded man taking a bath; and another piece where the artist appears to have incorporated existing graffiti of a penis, turning it into a nuclear warhead loaded onto the back of an armoured truck.

Ukrainians have applauded his work: the advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine recently tweeted, “Ukraine today is the center of attention, center of resistance, freedom, true art. @banksy confirmed that he created seven murals in different parts of Ukraine, including Borodianka, Irpin and Kyiv. It means a great deal to us. We are so grateful, Sir!”

These murals are the first public set of Banksy artworks to appear since last summer’s “Great British Spraycation”, a series featured across various East Anglian coastal towns.  

It remains to be seen whether or not Banksy will create more murals in Ukraine. 

Banksy is no stranger to warzones, producing some of his most provocative works in 2005 on the Israeli West Bank barrier. In 2015, he created a mural at the migrant camp in northern France known as “The Jungle”, highlighting the refugee crisis, and, more recently, in the summer of 2020, he funded and painted a boat to help migrants reach Europe from North Africa. In recent Banksy news, the artist has accused US fashion retailer Guess of stealing his work, encouraging shoplifters to “help themselves” from their flagship store on Regent street. 

In his latest Instagram post, Banksy stated, “Attention all shoplifters. Please go to GUESS on Regent Street. They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?”

Opinions are mixed as to whether the post was serious or not, with many people suspecting it to be a publicity stunt. However, with the artist making his distaste for luxury brands quite apparent over the years, it looks like his social media outburst was a genuine reaction of annoyance. 

In response to the post, Guess temporarily closed the Regent Street store, covering up the Bansky-themed window display. 

If you would like to support Banksy and acquire one of his statement pieces, come and chat with us at Red Eight Gallery or contact us via our website. 

Red Eight artist Lisa Thompson recently raised £1593 to support Ukraine. You can find out more about her fundraiser here