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This is what working from home under quarantine looks like for Banksy

Published Apr 21st, 2020 9:41PM EDT

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  • The famously elusive street artist Banksy has unveiled his latest creation — an image of painted rats appearing to cause havoc … in the artist’s bathroom.
  • Banksy posted the new artwork to Instagram with a lighthearted reference to the fact that it was created while working from home, something that’s now a fact of life for millions of people around the world as the coronavirus pandemic has dragged on.
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“My wife hates it when I work from home.”

That’s how the famously elusive artist Banksy captioned an Instagram post depicting his latest artwork, which has been “liked” more than 2.4 million times and which is hosted in perhaps his oddest choice of venues yet — his bathroom. Oh well, what can you do when most of the world is on lockdown right now as a result of the coronavirus? “We’re all in this together,” is a phrase you’ve probably heard more than once now since the crisis began. Which means — well, among other things, that for office workers and street artists alike, everyone is working from home for the time being.

Painted rats are a familiar image in Banksy’s work, and in the scene he posted to Instagram the rodents seem to be causing chaos around his bathroom — stepping on toothpaste to squeeze out a blast that seems to hang in midair, grabbing a mirror to knock it askew, and painting on the walls, among other things.

The images are classic Banksy, the product of his idiosyncratic wit and displayed in a non-mainstream setting — regarding the latter, it’s just that he’s swapped his usual venue of choice, the street, with his own bathroom. And it’s always remarkable, to me at least, how much press attention his new creations garner: Soon after his Instagram post appeared, articles detailing Banksy’s new creation appeared everywhere from CNN and The New York Post to The Guardian and the BBC.

You have to pause and study the full image for a beat to take it in, in its entirety. Seemingly everywhere you look, there’s a new “moment,” thanks to nine painted rats playing across Banksky’s bathroom. One of them is seen scampering across a toilet paper roll, while another seems to be marking the days prison-style with lipstick written on the wall.

This piece is Banksy’s newest creation since his art that appeared in Bristol, in the UK, back in February. It depicted a child with a slingshot pointed at roses that look like fireworks in the sky, although the image was vandalized soon after it appeared — someone wrote “BCC Wankers” across it, which seemed to be a reference to the Bristol City Council.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.