British Street Artist Donates Paintings for Charity

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. stroke / stroʊk / (n) – a serious medical condition in which the brain's blood supply is blocked

    The patient who suffered a stroke has not woken up yet.

  2. rework / riˈwɜrk / (v) – to make changes to the original version of something (e.g. a piece of writing or artwork) to make it better

    I had to rework my thesis because it had a lot of errors.

  3. potent / ˈpoʊt nt / (adj) – having strong influence

    The documentary is a potent reminder about the country’s dark history.

  4. undisclosed / ˌʌndɪˈskləʊzd / (adj) – not revealed

    The singer left the competition for an undisclosed reason.

  5. dystopian / dɪsˈtoʊ pi ən / (adj) – relating to an imagined world or society where people always live with fear or unhappiness

    Dystopian fiction usually features worlds destroyed by war or disease.


Read the text below.

An anonymous British artist who goes by the nickname Banksy donated three paintings to help a hospital in Bethlehem.

The paintings, which fetched £2.2 million (around ¥305 million), were auctioned off in London by auction house Sotheby’s. The money raised from the auction will be used to buy equipment for children’s rehabilitation and build a new stroke unit for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.

The artwork called Mediterranean Sea View 2017 consists of 19th century-style seascape paintings that were reworked by Banksy. The artist added abandoned lifejackets and buoys on the old oil paintings in honor of migrants that traveled through the Mediterranean Sea to European Union countries in the last decade.

The paintings were originally created for the artist’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.

Prior to the auction, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art for Europe said that the three paintings were kept in the auction house’s galleries with other works by some of the world’s greatest landscape painters. He believes that Banksy’s paintings stood out because of their potent political message.

Banksy is known for making various kinds of art with controversial political themes. Despite his fame, his real identity remains undisclosed.

The artist started out doing street art but has expanded to other mediums such as paintings, films, and even a huge exhibition featuring a dystopian theme park. His latest work was an illustration about the spread of Covid-19 inside a London Underground train.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were Banksy, would you donate the paintings? Why or why not?
• Would you like to own a work of art by a controversial artist like Banksy? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think artwork can convey political messages effectively? Why or why not?
• In what other ways can political messages be conveyed effectively (e.g. by writing literature)? Discuss.