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Banksy, the most popular and famous graffiti artist in the world, has never been shy about criticizing the government. The artist turned some heads, though, when he displayed a piece at the Vanina Holasek Gallery in New York that featured the late Queen Victoria appearing to be sitting on the face of another woman in a sexually suggestive way.
Queen Victoria, who was the monarch of the UK from 1837 until her death in 1901, was famous for stating that women are “not able to be gay” and also for passing anti-gay laws to go along with that conviction. Banksy takes a comical shot at the queen and her anti-gay stance in his piece by suggesting that she herself is a lesbian caught in a sexual act with another woman. In the piece, Queen Victoria sits with her staff in one hand and the other hand on her hip; she is dressed in stockings and high-heeled boots from the waist down, sitting atop a woman whose face is obscured by the Queen’s body. The two women are drawn in black and white amidst a solid red background.