LONDON (Reuters) – Reclusive British street artist Banksy published a new artwork online on Saturday which depicts the United States flag being set alight by a candle that forms part of a memorial to an anonymous, black, silhouetted figure.
The artwork appeared as thousands of people gathered in London and other cities around the world to protest the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where a white police officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
“People of color are being failed by the system. The white system,” Banksy wrote in a short statement that accompanied the image on the social media platform Instagram.
Banksy likened racism to a broken pipe flooding a downstairs apartment, and said the downstairs occupants would be entitled to break into the apartment upstairs to fix the problem.
“This is a white problem. And if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in,” Banksy wrote alongside the image.
Banksy frequently chooses topical themes for his artworks, which are normally stenciled on walls.
Last month, he showed a young boy choosing a nurse as the superhero he wants to play with over Batman and Spiderman, in a new artwork to encapsulate the gratitude Britons have felt toward the country’s National Health Service during the coronavirus crisis.
Writing by David Milliken; Editing by Hugh Lawson