We are used to it by now, it always happens like this: Banksy acts in the shadows, he makes a new artwork, rumors start to circulate we have to wait a few days for his claim before we can be sure it’s really him. In this case, we had to wait almost a week for the last step, but at least the confirmation came.
To understand this new artwork we have to take a trip to England and go outside Reading prison, a famous place that between 1895 and 1897 housed one of England’s greatest writers: Oscar Wilde.
It was on the walls of this building that Banksy’s latest work appeared almost a week ago, an image featuring a prisoner with a typewriter – very similar to the late 19th-century writer – escaping from the prison walls thanks to a row of sheets tied together.
This artistic intervention pays homage to the writer while conveying a very strong message of protest. For more than five years, Reading Prison has been in disuse, and activists have fought to see it transformed into an arts center, but the government’s intentions have always been adamant and directed towards more commercial choices.
Today, in such a context, Banksy’s action could be a game-changer. His work could encourage the upper echelons to change, relaunch the project of artistic reclamation and support the fight against creativity.