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Painting celebrating the world’s real superheroes sold for £16m6 min read

March 31, 2021 4 min read

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Painting celebrating the world’s real superheroes sold for £16m6 min read

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The Game Changer by Banksy. Credit: Banksy

Look at this painting. What does it mean to you? Do you feel the incredible power of the superheroes of the present? Well, so did the world because this painting, called Game Changer, was sold for £16m and the funds from the sale have gone towards an NHS (National Health Service) charity in the UK. The painting, by the mysterious artist Banksy, was auctioned for charity, specifically for the NHS.

Owliver’s Obscure Facts: The NHS (National Health Service) is an umbrella term for the public healthcare services in the United Kingdom.

A healthcare worker takes a picture of the Banksy artwork. Credit: Getty Images

Game Changer portrays a young boy kneeling and playing with a nurse superhero doll, complete with cape, while Batman and Spider-Man lie discarded in a nearby toy bin. This is a reference to the hard work healthcare workers, such as nurses, have put into fighting the coronavirus pandemic!

Now, Game Changer has been hung at the Southampton General Hospital for everyone to see as they walk in.

The artwork was delivered to the hospital with a note, which read, “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.” The delivery was from Banksy, who likes to keep his identity unknown.

So who is Banksy?

Who is Banksy? This is a question a LOT of people have asked, wondered about and even investigated over the years. There have also been numerous theories about who the artist, or artists, is, but with no luck in getting closer to identity.

Here’s what we do know about the artist – he/she/they is a British graffiti artist who displays pieces of art in public spaces, and usually only reveals that the artwork is by them after it is on social media.

Let’s look at some of Banksy’s other work

This is Banksy’s most iconic piece,  and it appeared in South Bank, London in 2002. The words ‘There Is Always Hope’ are written just behind a young girl, who is seen reaching for a balloon in the shape of a heart. People have debated over the meaning of this work, with ideas involving love, innocence and hope.
Credit: Getty Images
Rumoured to be a work of Banksy, this piece was discovered in Melbourne, Australia. It shows a homeless man who appears to be asking for change. Not money, but rather social change.
Credit: The Guy in the Grey Scarf
Spotted in the early hours of Monday 1st March on the side of Reading prison. It shows a man dressed in a striped prisoner’s uniform scaling the side of the building on a knotted rope.Beneath the man, the chain is shown to be made of paper and coming out of a typewriter.Some have said that the man is meant to represent Irish poet Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned at the jail from 1895 to 1897. Credit: Instagram
This striking piece, which is also one of our personal favourites, is a comment on the UN climate summit’s failure to appropriately tackle global warming. The words appeared on a wall by Regent’s Canal and dip below the water line. Credit: Pinterest
Possibly one of the most recognisable Banksy artworks, Sweep it Under the Carpet appeared on a wall in North London in around 2006. It shows a woman dressed as a house help sweeping dirt under the cover of a brick wall. The piece is said to represent the reluctance of the western world to deal with global issues such as the AIDS epidemic, among others. 
Credit: Cannon Snapper

People familiar with Banksy’s work will always recognise a piece as there is a particular style that the artist follows. Banksy’s work is known for making strong political and social statements. Apart from street art, Banksy has produced drawings, paintings, installations and even a theme park!

A Banksy-style prank

In 2018, Banksy shocked the art world with a prank like no other – self-destructing one of his best-known works moments after it fetched more than a million pounds at an auction in London.

Girl with Balloon had just sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million), when an alarm suddenly went off, and the painting started to unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.

Banksy posted a video on his Instagram page accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso – “the urge to destroy is also a creative urge” – showing the stunt unfolding and how he pulled it off. 

Watch the video of the self-destructing artwork below:

Pandemic art

Banksy left this graffiti on the side of a house in the middle of the pandemic. Credit: Tristan Kay

Game Changer was not Banksy’s only pandemic work. Banksy also left stencilled rats with face masks around the London Underground – which were removed for violating transport laws. Back in December, Banksy drew a mural of a woman violently sneezing on the side of a home in Totterdown in England. 

Sources: BBC, Indian Express, Metro UK