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Banksy Channels The Late, Great Bob Ross With Video Of New Street Art Stunt

Bob Ross appears to comment on the anonymous street artist's prison break mural in Reading, England, in the spoof footage.

The Joy Of Spray Painting?

Famed British street artist Banksy channeled the late TV art instructor Bob Ross to confirm he is behind a new mural on the wall of a disused prison in Reading, England.

The piece that appeared earlier this week depicts a man — speculated to be the Irish poet Oscar Wilde, who served two years in the prison for the crime of gross indecency (back when being gay was a crime) ― scaling down a rope made of paper, with a typewriter:

Street artist Banksy confirmed he was behind the new street art piece with a video featuring the late, great Bob Ross.
Street artist Banksy confirmed he was behind the new street art piece with a video featuring the late, great Bob Ross.

A video that Banksy shared to Instagram on Thursday — “Create Escape” ― parodies Ross’s hit television show, “The Joy of Painting.”

Footage of the prison piece being painted in the dead of night is shown with audio of Ross, making it appear as if the late artist is actually commenting on Banksy’s new art. 

Watch the clip here:

The prison itself has been empty since 2013. Banksy’s piece could provide a boost to a celebrity-endorsed campaign to transform it into an arts venue.

Actors Judi Dench and Stephen Fry are among the famous faces backing the bid, with “James Bond” star Dench last year saying “the idea of plays being performed, people learning and enjoying themselves, and a community coming together in a space that represented so much sadness and inspiration for Oscar Wilde himself is a beautiful one.”

The prison art is Banksy’s first street piece of 2021. It comes on the heels of his “Aachoo!!” stencil in his home city of Bristol in December:

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