Earlier this week (March 1), a Banksy-esque painting was spotted on the side of a former prison in Reading, showing a prisoner escaping over the wall with a typewriter. Now, the elusive street artist has confirmed that the artwork is in fact his, posting a video of the process intercut with clips of the American painter – and “king of the tingles” – Bob Ross.
The video, shared to Banksy’s Instagram, provides an insight into the artist’s latest work, which is titled “Create Escape”. Of course, like previous behind-the-scenes images, it doesn’t give away any identifying features.
The ex-prison is a significant site for the new artwork, as it famously held the poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, who was sentenced to two years after being accused of gross indecency in 1895. Wilde’s poem, Ballad of Reading Gaol, was written following his release, and campaigners are calling for the jail to be turned into an arts and culture centre, instead of being sold for housing.
Reading Borough Council has suggested that Banksy’s latest artwork shows support for the campaign to save the site, telling the BBC: “We are thrilled that Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind the council’s desire to transform the vacant Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage and culture with this piece of artwork he has aptly called ‘Create Escape’.”