Banksy has dropped yet another of his pro-immigration, anti-Brexit works, this time at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. Overnight, the street artist installed Keep Ou, a weathered, slightly defaced—and certainly locked—EU customs gate supposedly sourced from Heathrow airport. At the bottom of the piece, one of Banksy’s signature rats is attempting to pick the lock with the “T” missing from “KEEP OU”. Crafty rat.
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Unlike more recent works from the as-yet-unmasked artist, this particular work was apparently welcome at the Academy’s currently ongoing Summer Exhibition curated by Jock McFadyen. While it is unclear as of this time whether Keep Ou is for purchase, all proceeds from the sale of the other works on display by James Turrell, Antony Gormely, Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Polly Morgan, Wim Wenders, Charles Avery, and many others go to support the Academy’s educational programs. Considering that, any additional foot traffic the publicity from Banksy’s latest drop brings is a good and welcome thing.
The artist has been keeping up a pretty steady rhythm over the last few weeks. Last month saw him drop not one, but two works amid the hustle of the Venice Biennale—one satirizing the mass commercialization of the art fair and its host city and another taking aim at current trends in immigration policies among the major powers.