They say that the best art imitates life, and let's be honest, our lives are increasingly controlled by technology. After tackling war, human rights and censorship, legendary and anonymous street artist Banksy is now turning his critical eye on our digital existence -- and not surprisingly his view is bleak. Two pieces, one confirmed and one suspected, from faceless man who uses the streets of urban Earth as his canvas cropped up in the UK this week. The location of the first and confirmed piece has yet to be identified, but photographs of it have appeared on Banksy's website. It depicts two lovers in an embrace against a darkened doorway. But rather than looking lovingly into each others eyes, the man and woman are glued to their smartphones, the screens casting an inhuman glow over their faces.
The second piece was discovered in Cheltenham, and shows three men in coats and sunglasses holding microphones and reel-to-reel recorders. Against the wall between where the three apparent government agents are painted sits an old and rather beat up looking phonebooth. Neither piece is particularly subtle (that has never really been Banksy's strong suit), but that doesn't diminish the cleverness or the impact. Even when we're mere millimeters apart we're often still worlds away from the other people in our lives, and always under the watchful eye of big brother -- welcome to the 21st century.