Banksy is back with artwork that expertly skewers how institutions treat street art

Banksy's artworks are a perfect commentary not only on the socio-political situation — Brexit or the refugee crisis, for example — but also on the way institutions are trying to control the revolutionary power of street art. 

His latest murals, which have appeared at the Barbican centre in London, are an ironic take on the centre's latest exhibition of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who started as a graffiti artist in New York. 

Check out Banksy's latest pieces below:

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New Banksy piece addresses street art controversy
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New Banksy piece addresses street art controversy
People take photographs of recently painted graffiti artworks by the street artist Banksy, in London on September 18, 2017. Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week. One work showed a scarecrow figure similar to the one in Basquiat's 1982 work 'Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump', being searched by two police officers. The second shows people queueing up for a Ferris wheel that has crowns instead of gondolas. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
People take photographs of recently painted graffiti artworks by the street artist Banksy, in London on September 18, 2017. Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week. One work showed a scarecrow figure similar to the one in Basquiat's 1982 work 'Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump', being searched by two police officers. The second shows people queueing up for a Ferris wheel that has crowns instead of gondolas. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
People take photographs of recently painted graffiti artworks by the street artist Banksy, in London on September 18, 2017. Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week. One work showed a scarecrow figure similar to the one in Basquiat's 1982 work 'Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump', being searched by two police officers. The second shows people queueing up for a Ferris wheel that has crowns instead of gondolas. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A recently painted graffiti artwork by the street artist Banksy, is pictured in London on September 18, 2017. Street artist Banksy paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat with two new murals in London near a major exhibition of the late US artist opening this week. One work showed a scarecrow figure similar to the one in Basquiat's 1982 work 'Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump', being searched by two police officers. The second shows people queueing up for a Ferris wheel that has crowns instead of gondolas. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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"Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican — a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls," Banksy said in the Instagram caption accompanying a pic of his first Barbican mural. 

The image shows people queuing to get a ticket for a ferris wheel which resembles the London Eye but with the passenger cars transformed into crowns, one of Basquiat's trademarks. 

The other mural depicts police officers doing what it seems to be a "stop and search" to a boy which bears a striking resemblance to what is arguably Basquiat's most iconic artwork "Boy and dog in a Johnnypump" while the dog waits behind. 

"Portrait of Basquiat being welcomed by the Metropolitan Police — an (unofficial) collaboration with the new Basquiat show," reads Banksy's comment on Instagram. 

The Barbican artworks could be considered the artist's first major murals since he painted a gigantic Brexit mural in Dover. That one shows a worker removing a star on the European Union flag. 

Barbican says its Basquiat exhibition is "the first large-scale exhibition in the UK" of the artist, poet, DJ and musician, who died in 1988 at age 27. 

 

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