Banksy Delivers Anti-Brexit Message at Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition

The mystery street artist has salvaged a customs arch from Heathrow

Banksy, Keep Ou, 2019. Courtesy: Royal Academy of Arts; photograph: David Parry

Banksy, Keep Ou, 2019. Courtesy: Royal Academy of Arts; photograph: David Parry

Banksy has returned to London’s Royal Academy for its annual Summer Exhibition. The mystery street artist has salvaged an EU arrivals gate from Heathrow airport, placing it near the entrance to the show, which opens on 10 June.

Titled Keep Ou (2019), the artwork bears the words across its shuttered arch. The missing ‘T’ is being wielded by a stencilled rat at the bottom of the gate, as it tries to crack open a padlock.

This year’s Summer Exhibition is curated by the painter Jock McFadyen. The annual show at the Royal Academy is the world’s largest open-submission exhibition for contemporary art.

Many of the works on show are up for sale, with some of the proceeds going towards the Royal Academy’s art school. Other featured artists this year include Jeremy Deller, Anselm Kiefer and Paula Rego. No price has been specified for Keep Ou.

Last year, Banksy also featured in the Summer Exhibition – curated by Grayson Perry, marking the show’s 250th edition – where he delivered another anti-Brexit message. Altering a Vote to Leave placard, Banksy amended it to read ‘Vote to Love’, with a heart-shaped balloon obscuring the letters. The piece was priced at GBP£350 million, referencing a Vote Leave campaign claim of how much the UK contributed to the EU.

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