BANKSY has made a name for itself in Ukraine after unveiling a painting of a gymnast on the side of a high-rise building bombed by Russia.
The anonymous graffiti artist shared images of his latest artwork on a wall of a destroyed building in Borodyanka – 35 miles from the capital Kyiv.
Three pictures on his official Instagram showed a woman in a leotard doing a handstand.
He captioned the post: “Borodyanka, Ukraine.”
Borodyanka was relentlessly bombed by Vladimir Putin’s troops at the start of the Ukraine war, and many of the city’s buildings and apartment blocks were reduced to huge piles of rubble.
Rumors of Banksy’s arrival in Ukraine began swirling on Friday after a painting of a child throwing a man in a judo outfit to the ground was discovered on a building in the same city.
Photojournalist Ed Ram, who works for Getty photo agency in Ukraine, snapped the picture before Banksy confirmed he was in the country.
Ed said: “I wonder if it could be a Banksy or a knockoff?
“Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wore a black belt in judo, was removed from his position as honorary president of the International Judo Federation in May.”
The image was shared by artist Martyn Reed, who said: “It’s starting to look like Banksy is in Ukraine.
“There was some discussion when the first template came out…expect more to appear in the coming days.”
A Banksy-style artwork also appeared in the nearby town of Irpin.
The image showed a woman in a leotard and ruff waving a ribbon.
Banksy’s post of his street art in Borodyanka was liked by more than 800,000 fans, while nearly 10,000 left comments.
Thousands praised Banksy for the “amazing” artwork and Ukrainians thanked the British artist for showing “the world the tragedy” of war.
One fan said: “I knew you would go there. I was hoping that you would go there. I wish you would go there. I prayed that you would go there.
“And you did it. You did the right thing, Mister Banksy.”
Another wrote: “To this day I just loved your art. Now I love you, whoever you are.”
A third commented: “Thank you for your art, which has always been uncomfortable for society but so important!
“You once again reminded everyone that the war is on and the enemy of the world is not yet defeated.”
A fourth said: “I can’t believe it! Such stunning work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
It’s not the first time Banksy has ventured into war zones.
He has traveled to Palestine many times, painted near the huge wall built by the Israelis, and then opened a guest house called The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.
In the UK he has also been involved in supporting the Colston 4 – the four protesters accused of pushing the statue of Edward Colston into Bristol Harbor in 2020.
Prior to the Ukraine painting, the most recent work on his Instagram was the t-shirt design that raised money for the four defendants and was then acquitted of criminal damage.
In his hometown of Bristol he painted another in the series Girl with a Red Balloon in Barton Hill.
And he also painted “Aachoo” on the wall at the end of England’s steepest residential street in the city.
Street artist Banksy’s identity has never been revealed despite his worldwide fame.
For years he has been creating complex street art under cover of darkness to maintain his anonymity.
Although much of his art is produced in public places, he usually only admits it’s his after it’s appeared on his social media.
He first appeared as a graffiti artist in the DryBreadZ Crew group in the early 1990s.
Banksy was never exposed and it is believed that his refusal to reveal himself began to avoid prosecution for vandalism.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6659135/banksy-unveils-new-street-art-in-ukraine/ Banksy unveils new street art in Ukraine as he paints a gymnast on the side of a Russian-bombed skyscraper