New Valentine’s Day Mural by Banksy About Domestic Violence in UK Town –

A new mural by Banksy about domestic violence, titled Valentine’s Day Mascara, was recently found in the coastal British town of Margate in Kent.

The mural features a 1950s-style housewife with a swollen, black eye, bruised cheek, a swollen lower lip, and a knocked-out tooth. She wears a bright blue gingham dress, an apron, and yellow latex gloves, and has her arms out.

She’s shown standing next to an open chest freezer and an upturned plastic lawn chair. The woman appears to have disposed of an abusive male partner. Only the man’s pant cuffs, black socks, and black dress shoes can be seen poking out of the appliance.

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A poster for Documenta 15 appears in a color photograph in front of a number of columns covered in black with white writing.

Images of the mural, including closeups of the housewife’s face, were also posted to Banksy’s Instagram account on February 14. Banksy has 11.8 million followers on the social media platform.

The issue of domestic abuse featured in Banksy’s newest mural became a global concern after several countries reported spikes in violence against women and girls due to lockdowns during the pandemic. A policy brief from the United Nations in 2020 found increased cases of domestic violence and demand for emergency shelter in Canada, the US, Germany, Spain, and the UK. A UN Women’s report published in November 2021 called it a “shadow pandemic,” finding that “more than half of women surveyed reported that they or a woman they know experienced physical violence and verbal abuse since the onset of COVID-19.”

According to Isle of Thanet News, Banksy had previously visited the town of Margate in November 2013 to see the amusement park Dreamland after it shifted to public ownership. The park is also featured in the autobiography of British visual artist Tracey Emin, Strangeland, which documents her experience with childhood sexual abuse.

Banksy left a signed tag on Dreamland’s comment wall and would create the large art project Dismaland in 2015. The mock theme park in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset featured work by 50 international artists, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and David Shrigley.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text START at 88788.

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