Banksy’s latest commentary on the COVID-19 era is a new stencil mural showing an older woman in a headscarf sneezing away her dentures as she drops her walking stick and purse behind.
“Aachoo!!” the street artist captioned a photo of the artwork in an Instagram post, confirming his responsibility for the mural, which appeared on the side of a house in his hometown of Bristol on Thursday, December 10
The artist posted another picture showing the woman blowing away a wheeled trash bin and a man’s umbrella with her dramatic sneeze.
Vale Street, the location of the new mural, is England’s steepest residential street, according to the Guardian. The sloping road is a common site for annual Easter Sunday egg-rolling competitions.
The artwork is expected to bump up the value of the house, which had been on sale for £345,000 (~$456,000). The Art Newspaper reports that the owners, the Makin family, swiftly took the house off the market to consider their next steps.
Alex Makin, whose mother owns the house, was also quick to cover the mural with a plexiglass sheet to protect it.
“We’re not really sure what we’re going to do at the moment,” Makin told the Art Newspaper. “It would be an amazing thing to keep in the family, but we also want to make sure it is properly protected. It’s been a fairly tough year for my mum, so this feels like a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
The enigmatic street artist has been busy during the pandemic. In October, he claimed responsibility for a mural depicting a girl hula hooping with a tire on a street corner in Lenton, Nottingham. In July, he raided a London subway car to spray stencils of rats wreaking havoc with hands sanitizers and face masks. One poorly rat sprayed a window with his sneeze juice. The artwork was later removed by London’s Tube’s authorities under their anti-graffiti policy.