Banksy has made a return to street art with a 70-foot mural in New York and it’s annoyed a lot of people.
The faceless graffiti artist’s new piece, which comes after a five-year hiatus, was unveiled Thursday at the corner of Houston Street and Bowery.
Banksy already has two pieces of work up on NYC’s walls: a rat running on the interior circumference of a clock above a former bank on 14th Street and 6th Avenue and the politically-charged piece on the historic Houston Bowery Wall.
In this latest piece, Banksy has depicted the controversial incarceration of Turkish journalist Zehra Doğan, who was jailed over a painting.
Zehra was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison over the painting, which showed a war-torn scene in the town of Nusaybin – with Turkish flags painted over crushed buildings.
She shared her picture on social media but was arrested and sentenced to almost three years in prison for doing so.
— Giran Ozcan (@GiranOzcan) March 16, 2018
Banksy’s new protest artwork is a black and white mural which resembles the jail, with Zehra trapped behind bars. Written at the end of the tally marks is: ‘Free Zehra Doğan.’
The tallies in the artwork represent the number of days Zehra has been in prison for and a copy of the watercolor painting is being projected above the mural itself.
— Olagunju Adeshina (@lagun_ade) March 17, 2018
Banksy posted an image of the artwork on Instagram, along with the caption:
One year ago Zehra Dogan was jailed for painting this watercolour of a photograph she saw in the newspaper.
Protest against this injustice by re-gramming her painting and tagging Turkey’s President Erdogan.
According to Turkey Purge, Zehra said, in a since-deleted tweet:
I was given two years and 10 months [jail time] only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings.
However, they [Turkish government] caused this. I only painted it.
In a statement to the New York Times, Banksy said:
I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence.
Glad to see him back.