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  • Bold, bright and blonde - Banksy’s Kate Moss wittily pays homage to Andy Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Moss flaunts Monroe’s most iconic attributes – her signature curls, flirtatious eyelashes, boldly-defined lips, and prominent beauty-spot. As well as Monroe’s superimposed features, the addition of flat, solid colour in contrasting tones of purple and orange acts to capture Warhol’s vivid Pop aesthetic. Although Moss emulates Monroe so closely, she does not imitate her gaze – whereas Monroe seductively stares straight out at the viewer, Moss gazes into the distance with a tantalizingly nonchalant coolness.

     

    In recreating Warhol’s work in the 21st Century, Banksy both praises the artist and adds a new level of criticality. In Marilyn (1967), Warhol glamorizes fame but simultaneously satirically comments on the notion of celebrity and its position as ‘spectacle’ in consumer culture. Repeating Monroe’s portrait through screenprinting, her image became a commercial product, no longer attached to her as an individual but as a product of her era. Kate Moss is arguably Monroe’s successor: a contemporary fashion icon, she is one of the most famous supermodels of her time. Banksy uses the image of Kate Moss with the same intentions as his predecessor – the commodification of visual icons.

    'I think I was trying to make a statement about the endless recycling of an icon by endlessly recycling an icon.'
    —Banksy, discussing his graffiti of Che Guevara

     By drawing a parallel between Moss and Monroe, Banksy also draws a parallel between Warhol and himself. The two artists are often compared for their cut-to-the-chase approach that communicates witty social commentary whilst using the most straightforward visual language. But, of course, there is one hugely significant difference: whereas Warhol cultivated his own celebrity status and became a star with a widely recognisable image, Banksy has fervently preserved his anonymity. For Monroe, Moss and Warhol, their image has become so crucial to their identity – Banksy, however, is only visualized through his art. Ironically, however, Banksy’s hidden identity has become central to his reputation. When questioned in a 2014 interview why he is so persistent in keeping his identity secret, Banksy said that as well as to undermine the authorities, ‘the secretiveness is also because I feel this kind of thing creates its own kind of buzz.’ By concealing his identity, Banksy has become even more alluring. Perhaps, despite his anonymity, Banksy is equally as conscious of the powers of fame as Warhol.

    'Nobody ever listened to me until they didn’t know who I was.' —Banksy

    Andy Warhol, Marilyn, 1967. Lot 44 Estimate £100,000-150,000 © 2021 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London
    Andy Warhol, Marilyn, 1967.
    Lot 44 Estimate £100,000-150,000
    © 2021 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by DACS, London
    • Condition Report

    • Artist Biography

      Banksy

      British • 1975 - N/A

      Anonymous street artist Banksy first turned to graffiti as a miserable fourteen year old disillusioned with school. Inspired by the thriving graffiti community in his home city, Bristol, Banksy's works began appearing on trains and walls in 1993, and by 2001 his blocky, spray-painted works had cropped up all over the United Kingdom. Typically crafting his images with spray paint and cardboard stencils, Banksy is able to achieve a meticulous level of detail. His aesthetic is clean and instantly readable due to his knack for reducing complex political and social statements to simple visual elements.

      His graffiti, paintings and screenprints use whimsy and humour to satirically critique war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed — with not even the Royal family safe from his anti-establishment wit.

      View More Works

40

Kate Moss (Purple/Orange)

2005
Screenprint in colours, on wove paper, with full margins.
I. 53 x 53 cm (20 7/8 x 20 7/8 in.)
S. 70 x 70 cm (27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in.)

Signed, dated, and dedicated 'AP/Stef 01' in pencil (an artist's proof, the edition was 20), published by Pictures on Walls, London, with the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity issued by Pest Control, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£130,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £239,400

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 19-20 January 2022