‘Tis the season, and even Banksy is celebrating with a festive—and characteristically bleak—new mural. After much speculation, the Bristol street artist confirmed on his Instagram that he is he true creator of a piece that popped up overnight on a garage in Port Talbot, Wales.
In typical Banksy fashion, the work, seen from one angle, is a pleasant Christmas tribute; but from another it takes on a more sinister meaning. The mural, painted so that it straddles the corner of a building, shows a child attempting to catch snowflakes on his tongue; however, the adjacent wall features a burning dumpster revealing that the “snowflakes” are actually ash.
“The placing of the work is very clever, in between the blast furnace and the M4, yards from where Richard Burton was brought up and where we’ve had bonfires for years,” Nigel Thomas Hunt, Plaid Cymru Councillor for Aberavon, told the BBC. “You can look at the painting and see the furnaces in the background.”
The garage, which is private property, has had a fence installed around it to protect the mural. Its owner, Ian Lewis, is, luckily, charmed by it.
“I am very pleased, I think it is a smashing bit of artwork,” he said. “It is good for the town and I just want to protect it, and it is here for everybody.”