Banksy confirms prison-escape mural is his with Bob Ross-inspired video

Banksy has confirmed he was behind an artwork that appeared on the wall of a British jail earlier this month.

In a video posted to Instagram, the elusive street artist is seen spray-painting the image of an inmate escaping from Reading Prison, a disused institution in southern England that once held the Irish poet Oscar Wilde.

The video, which is captioned “Create Escape,” playfully mimics TV artist Bob Ross’ cult show, “The Joy of Painting.”

Shots of Banksy working in the dark of night are overdubbed with clips of Ross giving painting tips, making it appear as if he is commenting on the work.

The video did not confirm whether or not the artwork depicts Wilde, who was held at the institution for two years from 1895 after being imprisoned under a historical law against “gross indecency” used to prosecute gay men. Wilde’s 1898 poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” is a reflection on his time there. The prison closed in 2013.

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