Banksy spray paints sneezing rats in the London Underground

Last week, the elusive artist Bansky went underground. That is – the London Underground. He posted an Instagram video, which has nearly 4.5 million views, with the caption “if you don’t mask – you don’t get it.”

In the video about COVID-19, the artist is dressed as a sanitation worker. In his clever disguise, he sneaks onto the tube. Rather than spraying disinfectant however, he sprays paint. He uses stencils to add his signature rats across the train car, and then sprays paint next to a rat to make it look like the rat is sneezing. 

Banksy also depicts the cartoon rats playing with and handling masks. At the end of the video, he paints the message, “I get lockdown, but I get up again.” A reference to lyrics from the 1997 song “Tubthumping” by rock band Chumbawamba.

Transport for London, the group in charge of the Underground, had the paintings removed soon after they were put up. Banksy’s latest installation comes after the British government announced last month that everyone is required to wear face coverings inside the Underground. 

Transport for London responded by saying, “We’d like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location.”

Banksy’s other recent works include a tribute to hospital workers that depicts a nurse with a superhero cape, and a quarantine home makeover with the caption, “My wife hates it when I work from home.”