Banksy takes to streets to highlight Aids crisis

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The Independent Online

The "guerrilla" graffiti artist Banksy has spray-painted a striking, large-scale image entitled Sweeping It Under The Carpet on a wall in Chalk Farm, north London.

Commissioned by The Independent, the workcan be seen as a metaphor for the West's reluctance to tackle issues such as Aids in Africa.

Banksysaid yesterday that the commissioned piece was also about the democratisation of subjects in works of art.

"In the bad old days, it was only popes and princes who had the money to pay for their portraits to be painted," he said.

"This is a portrait of a maid called Leanne who cleaned my room in a Los Angeles motel. She was quite a feisty lady."

Banksy's work is now showing as part of an exhibition about the Palestinian conflict called Occupied Space, this week at Gallery 27, Cork Street, London. His creations will feature alongside around 55 other artists, including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Antony Gormley and Maggi Hambling.