Any time a new work by Banksy is discovered, crowds follow. But a new piece by the artist only made a splash after he posted a video of it on social media.
On Monday, Banksy revealed that he had installed a new street artwork in Birmingham, England. Along a brick wall, the artist has placed an image of two reindeer on a brick wall; the animals, which appear alongside Christmasy stars, seem to be pulling an actual bench that remains rooted to the ground. In the video Banksy uploaded, a homeless man is seated on the bench, along with an oversized sack filled with his belongings and some trash bags.
“God bless Birmingham,” Banksy wrote on Instagram. “In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.” Since the video was posted, it has been seen 2.1 million times.
Locals told the BBC that they were unaware that the work was being installed—or that it was a Banksy at all. Now local organizations are looking into how to maintain the work. “We are very keen to make sure it is a part of our community and not something that is taken away,” a representative for the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District, which oversees the area in which the piece is currently set, told the BBC.
This isn’t the first time Banksy has made headlines in the past month. In November, an artist claimed that a work by Banksy put up for sale at Sotheby’s was stolen from him. Days later, the work, which had been expected to sell for as much as $1.3 million, was pulled from the auction.