Banksy Unveils New Mural Highlighting Homelessness In The UK
Infamous street artist Banksy has unveiled a poignant new art installation in Birmingham. The artist posted a video on Instagram to showcase the work, with the footage showing a homeless man named 'Ryan' laying down on a park bench.
Banksy has painted two reindeer on the wall beside the bench, making it look as if they are pulling it as a sleigh on their way to Santa's grotto.
The footage, which was viewed nearly 1.4 million times three hours after it was posted, plays a slow festive tune in the background with the lyrics: "I'll be home for Christmas."
Meanwhile, a caption reads: "God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench, passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter - without him ever asking for anything."
The post has generated thousands of likes and comments, including one from PR firm Stand Agency who tweeted: "Drawing attention to homelessness this #Christmas in Birmingham in his trademark hard-hitting fashion.
"It's also heart-warming to hear about the kindness and generosity of people walking past as this was being filmed."
Another user wrote: "It's good to know we still have good people in this cruel world," while a third posted: "Good on you Birmingham! Think of the homeless not only Xmas time."
Unsurprisingly, many commenters took the opportunity generate new conspiracy theories about Banksy's identity, with some questioning whether or note the homeless man in the video is actually him.
One confident fellow wrote on Instagram: "That homeless man [in the video] is probably @banksy."
There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of theories over the years as to the real identity of the anonymous street artist - although none, as of yet, have prevailed.
Earlier this year, one video filmed in 2003 came close after it was discovered in an ITV vault.
The footage features a man claiming to be Banksy and while he kept his identity hidden underneath a baseball cap and a tee as he spoke to a reporter in front of a collection of pieces, it still showed more of his face than has ever been seen before.
The interview was filmed at a time when Banksy was well known in street art circles, three years before he hit the mainstream thanks to a breakout installation in LA in 2006.
Now he is a household name and continues to spread his controversial and politically-charged work in all regions of the world.
Featured Image Credit: Banksy/Instagram