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  • Provenance

    Lazirides Inc., London

  • Literature

    Banksy, Wall and Piece, London, 2005, pp. 40-41 (another version illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Most people think of art as a way of conveying emotions, as opposed to language, the means by which we express ideas. Whatever line there is distinguishing art and language, BANKSY paints over it to make it disappear, then stealthily repaints it in the unlikeliness of places. His works, whether he puts them on the streets, sells them in galleries, or hangs them in museums on the sly, are filled with imagery tweaked into metaphors that cross all language barriers. The images are brilliant and funny, yet so simple and accessible that even children can find the meaning in them: even if six-year-olds don't know the first thing about culture wars, they have no trouble recognizing that something is amiss when they see a picture of the Mona Lisa holding a rocket launcher. A lot of artists can be neurotic, self-indulgent snobs using art for their own catharsis, but BANKSY distances himself from his work, using art to plant the feelings of discontent and distrust of authority that anyone can experience when he prompts them to ask themselves one gigantic question: Why is this wrong? If it makes people feel and think, he's accomplished his goal. (S. Fairey, ‘Banksy:The Naked Truth', Swiddle Magazine, NewYork, Issue 8, 2005)

  • Artist Biography

    Banksy

    British • 1974

    Anonymous street artist Banksy first turned to graffiti as a disillusioned youth. Inspired by the thriving graffiti community in his home city, Bristol, Banksy's works began appearing on trains and city streets in 1993, and by 2001, his signature, stenciled works had cropped up across the United Kingdom. Typically crafting his images with spray paint and cardboard stencils, Banksy is able to achieve a meticulous level of detail. His clean and immediately comprehensible aesthetic is a result of his unique ability to distill complex political and social statements into simple visual elements.  

    Through whimsy and humor, his graffiti works, paintings, and screenprints satirically critique war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. His anti-establishment wit has had an undeniable impact on today’s contemporary street culture.

    View More Works

8

Happy Chopper

2005
Acrylic, stencil and spray-paint on canvas.
122 x 183 cm. (48 x 72 in).
Signed ‘Banksy' lower right. This work is from an edition of three. This work has been authenticated by Pest Control Office.

Estimate
£200,000 - 300,000 ‡ ♠

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm
London