The graffiti artist Banksy has confirmed a piece of art that appeared in Nottingham was created by him. The work, outside a beauty salon, shows a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre. It went up on Tuesday, next to a bicycle that is missing its back wheel. Amid speculation over whether the piece was a Banksy, a screen was fitted to it. In an ironic twist, soon afterwards the screen was sprayed with graffiti.
A picture of the work was posted on Banksy’s Instagram on Saturday morning.
The salon the artwork appeared outside is on the junction of Rothesay Avenue and Ilkeston Road in Lenton, a popular residential area for students. After Bansky’s confirmation he was the creator, people began arriving to have their photographs taken with the artwork, with about 30 people there at one point, as well as police officers.
Nicola Marshall, 39, from Clifton, Nottingham, came with her son Klaye to see the work. She said: “It’s a bit of positivity with all this coronavirus going on.”
Danial Ahmer, 23, a student who lives on Rothesay Avenue, said: “I think it’s eye-catching. It was a bit surreal and random to see it here though.”
The salon’s shop owner, Alex Mitchell, claimed that he saw the artwork being made on Tuesday when a van “with blacked out windows” pulled up to his storefront, as per the BBC. “I only saw the driver. I didn’t know what was going on or whether I should call the police. He pretended like he had broken down but he was there for at least two hours.” At some point the anonymous man came into Mitchell’s salon and purchased two drinks. “I asked him ‘who is the artist’ and he just winked at me,” he said.
Nottingham currently has the highest coronavirus infection rates in the UK. ”Nottingham needs something like this right now – something to talk about rather than coronavirus,” said neighborhood resident, Josinya Powell, to BBC. “If it is Banksy that’d be amazing – I’d say to him ‘thanks babes’.”