British artist Banksy has always been about that life when it comes to creating political art in the most unexpected, but conceptually ideal places. Recently, he revealed a massive 70-foot mural in lower Manhattan to protest the plight of Turkish artist Zehra Dogan, sentenced to nearly three years in prison for painting a watercolor rendering of a destroyed Kurdish town with the Turkish flag flying out it and posting the image to her social media.
Dogan still has 18 months left to serve in her sentence, and the mural coincides with the anniversary of the first year since she's been in custody. Along with Dogan are other artists and journalists serving time in prison, after the Turkish Government has taken continued measures to control the media.
“I really feel for her. I’ve painted things much more worthy of a custodial sentence,” Banksy said in a statement to the New York Times. In the mural, created in collaboration with graffiti artist Borf who also spent time in jail for his own work, Dogan's face is seen behind bars doubling as hash marks counting the number of she's spent in prison so far. Beside it was a call for her release while her original artwork was projected above the piece last night. "Sentenced to 2 years, nine months and 22 days in jail for painting this picture," the caption on the projected image read.
This is the second recent piece by the artist spotted in New York, with his infamous rat tag making an appearance on a former bank building just this week.