Banksy Recreated Oscar Wilde Prison Escape


Banksy uploaded this to his official online account—@banksy on Instagram—the notorious street artist channels his inner Bob Ross in this behind-the-scenes video which is called, “Create Escape”, with the great art teacher’s clips and voice interspersed throughout.

Banksy’s new street artwork, which is the first of 2021, was made in Reading, England on the outside of a Victorian prison that has been abandoned since 2013.


Its most notorious inmate was Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned from 1895 to 1897 after being sentenced to gross indecency (i.e., a homosexual relationship, which was illegal at the time). Wilde’s time inside inspired the poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, written in exile after he was out of prison. [source]

Since its closure, the prison has been used for movie sets and major art exhibitions, which includes works by artists such as Steve McQueen, Marlene Dumas, Nan Goldin, and Ai Weiwei.

The prison is owned by the Ministry of Justice and was put up for sale in 2019, when a drive was started to protect it from being sold to property developers, in hopes it would be reappropriated as a social hub for the arts. Banksy may be hoping this new effort benefits bring the conversation back to the table. [source]

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