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Banksy’s Working From Home, Too16.04.2020

The notorious street artist, who pictures of rats spray-painted on walls became an international phenomenon, is now returning to the theme that first made him famous.

To Banksy, whose efforts in the public space usually bordered on illegal, the rats were always a channel for incisive social commentary. The animals were often accompanied by scathing captions, like “Our time will come” or “Because I’m worthless.” Banksy’s last rat-related picture appeared on his Instagram nearly two years ago. 

The artist’s latest installation comments on the global experience of self-isolation—which he sees as the perfect playground for his notorious rats. Banksy released a couple of pictures of a filthy bathroom overrun with rats swinging from lamps, pushing out the toothpaste from the tube, unrolling toilet paper, and urinating all over the seat. The caption below reads: “My wife hates it when I work from home.” 

In the mirror hanging in one of the pictures, we see the reflection of an opposite wall on which a rat has been marking off days (with lipstick) in what amounts to a rudimentary calendar. That manner of marking the passage of time is usually associated with seclusion or prison, which in itself serves as Banksy’s commentary on mandatory self-isolation at home and other recently enacted quarantine measures.


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