Banksy's new artwork takes aim at arms trade

CNN Lifestyle 14 months ago

A new piece of art by Banksy was unveiled in London on Monday in a protest targeting one of the world's largest arms fairs.

The work will be displayed for a week at Art the Arms Fair, an exhibition set up to oppose the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition being held in the British capital this week.

The artist's new work, "Civilian Drone Strike," is created with childlike strokes -- but its intention is anything but playful.

A horrified looking stick figure stands next to a dog and a burning home. Three drones circle above.

At the biennial arms fair, 1,600 companies from around the globe will tout military hardware to delegates from countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Banksy, the elusive street artist, is well known for tackling complex socio-political concepts in pieces of art for the masses. His latest work is a pointed criticism of the human cost of weapons of war.

Elusive street artist Banksy has revealed a new mural. The large-scale painting depicts a worker chipping away at one of the twelve stars on the European Union flag.

The artwork was completed overnight on Sunday in the town of Dover, England.

In March, Banksy revealed a large-scale installation in Bethlehem. Titled the Walled Off Hotel, the interactive artwork features nine guest rooms and a presidential suite.

Each room critiques the division between Israel and Palestine, and the hotel looks out to a 30-foot concrete wall, which has been described as the largest canvas in the world.

In June 2016 elusive UK street artist Banksy painted this mural for students at a primary school in his hometown of Bristol, England. Students had named a house at their school for the artist, who surprised them with the mural when they returned from a holiday break. Here's a look at some other notable Banksy works.

On January 25, a new mural by street artist Banksy appeared on the French Embassy in London, criticising the French authorities' reported use of teargas in a refugee camp in Calais, France. A riff on the iconic Les Misérables poster, it shows a young girl enveloped by CS gas, crying.

A mural of a weeping woman, painted by the British street artist Banksy, is seen in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on Wednesday, April 1. The mural was painted on a door of a house destroyed last summer during the fighting between Israel and Hamas. The owner of the house said he was tricked into selling the door for the equivalent of $175, not realizing the painting was by the famously anonymous artist.

A Palestinian child stands next to a Banksy mural of a kitten on the remains of a destroyed house in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, in February 2015.

A child in Beit Hanoun walks past a mural February 2015 that depicts children using an Israeli watchtower as a swing ride.

A Banksy mural depicting pigeons holding anti-immigration signs was destroyed by the local council in Clacton-on-Sea, England, in October 2014 after the council received complaints that the artwork was offensive.

A Banksy work appears at a youth center in Bristol, England, in April 2014. Called "Mobile Lovers," it features a couple embracing while checking their cell phones. Members of the youth center took down the piece from a wall on a Bristol street and replaced it with a note saying the work was being held at the club "to prevent vandalism or damage being done." The discovery came shortly after another image believed to be by Banksy surfaced in Cheltenham, England.

A boy walks past graffiti street art believed to be by Banksy in April 2014. The image depicts men in trench coats and dark glasses holding old-fashioned listening equipment -- apparently a commentary on government surveillance. The artwork appeared on the side of a house in Cheltenham near the Government Communications Headquarters, the UK equivalent of the National Security Agency.

A set of balloons that reads "BANKSY!" is seen off the Long Island Expressway in Queens, New York, in October 2013. Banksy artwork appeared all over New York that month.

Banksy also offered up a T-shirt design on his website for fans to download and print on their own.

A leopard placed on the wall of New York's Yankee Stadium was revealed in October 2013.

"The Banality of the Banality of Evil" actually started out as a thrift store painting in New York City. Once altered by Banksy, who inserted an image of a Nazi officer sitting on a bench, it was re-donated to the store in October 2013, according to the artist's site.

Banksy's art exhibit "Grim Reaper Bumper Car" sits on New York's Lower East Side in October 2013. The famously anonymous artist, whose paintings regularly go for six figures at auction houses around the world, said he was on a "residency on the streets of New York."

A Banksy piece covers the main entrance to Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in New York's Hell's Kitchen in October 2013.

Banksy's replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza was made in Queens out of smashed cinder blocks.

Banksy's "Ghetto 4 Life" appeared in the Bronx in October 2013. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that Banksy was breaking the law with his guerrilla art exhibits, but the New York Police Department denied it was actively searching for him.

Banksy art is seen on the Upper West Side of New York in October 2013.

Banksy work in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, was vandalized in broad daylight in October 2013.

One of Banksy's pieces is this fiberglass sculpture of Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined in front of a Bronx McDonald's.

Graffiti depicting the Twin Towers popped up in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York in October 2013.

Banksy's "Sirens of the Lambs" art installation tours the streets of Manhattan in October 2013. It was a fake slaughterhouse delivery truck full of stuffed animals.

Banksy's "Concrete Confessional" is seen on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

A Banksy mural is seen on a wall in Queens. The quote is from the movie "Gladiator." It says, "What we do in life echoes in eternity."

A woman poses with Banksy's painting of a heart-shaped balloon covered in bandages. The piece, in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, was defaced with red spray paint shortly after it was completed.

A Banksy mural of a dog urinating on a fire hydrant draws attention

This installation, seen in October 2013, on the Lower East Side of New York, depicts stampeding horses in night-vision goggles. Thought to be a commentary on the Iraq War, it also included an audio soundtrack.

Gallery assistants adjust Banksy's "Love Is in the Air" ahead of an auction in London in June 2013. The piece was sold for $248,776.

"The Crayola Shooter" is found in Los Angeles in 2011. It shows a child wielding a machine gun and using crayons for bullets.

People walk past a Banksy painting of a dog urinating on a wall in Beverly Hills, California, in 2011.

Banksy murals popped up around New Orleans a day before the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2008.

A silhouette of a child holding a refrigerator-shaped kite is seen on a wall in New Orleans in 2008.

Graffiti on the side of a building in New Orleans shows an elderly person in a rocking chair under the banner, "No Loitering," in 2008.

A scene titled "Chicken Nuggets," from Banksy's "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill," is seen in New York in 2008.

A man walks past a Banksy piece in London in 2006.

A stenciled image of two policemen kissing is seen in London in 2005.

Sam Walton, an Art the Arms Fair organizer said, "Banksy is apparently offering a critique of the military industrial complex by deliberately destroying a rather nice child's drawing."

"'Civilian Drone Strike' is such a powerful statement against everything that events like the DSEI arms fair stand for."

On Friday, the piece will be auctioned off with proceeds donated to the Campaign Against Arms Trade and the human rights organization Reprieve.

A number of high profile artists and activists have contributed work to the Art the Arms Fair exhibition, including Peter Kennard, Guerilla Girls and Darren Cullen.

Tags: arts
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