The elusive British street artist Banksy may have been ‘caught’ painting a mural on a destroyed building in Ukraine.
CCTV footage making the rounds on Ukrainian TikTok shows a man wearing a mask sneaking up to a wall in the town of Irpin, near Kyiv, before “painting” on it.
Although the footage appears to be a heavily staged parody, it’s possible it still shows Banksy – whose true identity has never been revealed.
Irpin’s work, which shows a ballerina in a neck brace, has been confirmed to be a genuine Banksy and is one of seven he has painted in Ukraine in recent days.
The idea of spoofing a video of himself “caught” is in keeping with Banksy’s playful sense of humor.
Staged CCTV footage circulating on Ukrainian TikTok shows a man sneaking up to a wall in the town of Irpin before ‘painting’ a Banksy on it
Although the images are heavily staged and the painting obviously does not take place live, there is always the possibility that the British street artist has impersonated it himself – in keeping with his sense of humor.
Irpin’s artwork – showing a ballerina in a neck brace – has been confirmed to be a genuine Banksy and is one of seven painted in Ukraine in recent days
Other works painted by Banksy in Ukraine include a man in a bathtub – which looks a bit like Charles Darwin – painted inside a destroyed apartment in Horenka, a village eight kilometers northeast of Irpin.
Another painted on the walls of a destroyed school in the town of Borodyanka, west of Irpin, shows a child knocking an adult man onto his back during a judo match.
The male character appears to be Vladimir Putin – who holds a back judo belt.
Other works include a moving missile launcher that incorporates a rough drawing of a penis where the rocket should be, children playing on a tank trap as if it were a swing, and a woman in hair curlers and a gas mask holding a fire extinguisher.
Banksy confirmed their authenticity in a video posted on his Instagram account, titled “in solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.
Footage shows a woman and her daughter outside the bombed-out school, after the judo mural was painted.
She says, “It was a bomb here and a lot of people died.
“My child attended this kindergarten. Don’t cry honey, we’ve cried so much already, we’re out of tears.
A work of art confirmed by Banksy on a street in Kyiv shows a Russian missile launcher with a crudely drawn penis in place of the rocket
Another of Banksy’s Ukrainian artwork shows a woman with hair curlers and a dress, wearing a gas mask and holding a fire extinguisher near a burnt-out building
Painted on the wall of a nursery destroyed by a Russian bomb, this Banksy shows a child throwing a man who looks like Putin into a judo match – a sport in which he has a black belt
Banksy began his unconventional artistic career as a graffiti artist in Bristol in the 1990s and rose to prominence painting satirical and political murals on buildings.
His signature style became black and white portraits painted using stencils, often showing human or animal figures performing an action or interacting with the world around them.
Some of his most famous works oppose the conflict, including the portrait of a man throwing a bouquet of flowers – painted on the West Bank wall that separates Jerusalem from Israel.
He is also known to play with the idea of the fake versus the real, and during a residency in New York in 2013 he set up what appeared to be a tourist trap stand in Central Park selling what appeared to be replicas of his work for $60 per piece.
Except the booth was real and the artwork was authentic.
Although it was up for an entire day, a single customer bought two prints which went on to fetch over $100,000 at auction.
Another piece that played with a similar idea and art value was a print of “Girl With Balloon” that partially shredded at auction.
The half-destroyed artwork was then re-auctioned and sold for several times its original guide price.
Another of Banksy’s new works in Ukraine shows a man who looks a bit like Charles Darwin taking a bath in a destroyed house
A dancer also features in this Banksy piece, painted in the town of Borodyanka, which shows the female figure balancing on rubble
Two children appear to be playing on a tank trap as if on a swing in this work by Banksy, which appeared in downtown Kyiv
Banksy’s Ukrainian artwork has appeared in towns and villages devastated by Russia’s nine-month war in Ukraine.
Irpin, where the ballerina in a neck brace appeared, was the site of some of the worst atrocities committed by Putin’s troops.
Hundreds of civilians have been massacred during a months-long occupation after Russian forces were stopped there as they tried to advance on Kyiv.
When Putin’s troops withdrew, they left behind evidence of their war crimes, including mass graves, torture chambers and the bodies of civilians lying in the streets.
Ukraine continues to push Kremlin troops back into the battlefield, with recent retreats in the south and northeast.
Russian forces fled the area around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in September and recently withdrew from the city of Kherson.
About half of the territory occupied by Moscow’s armies at the height of the invasion has now been recaptured, with Kyiv demanding more weapons to do the job.
Top of the list are anti-aircraft batteries to protect against increased Russian airstrikes, but Ukraine also wants attack jets and tanks to aid in its offensives.