Banksy - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'Fight the fighters, not their wars.' —Banksy

    Banksy’s Happy Chopper first appeared in 2002 as a spray-painted mural in London’s Whitecross Street Market. The image has since become a recurring theme for Banksy and used in various anti-war protests. At the time, the United States and Britain were preparing for a war with Iraq, a conflict subject to much debate: accusations were made that Iraq’s oil supply was the focus of the coalition military and not the fight for democracy as the western public were led to believe.


    Depicting a squadron of armed Apache helicopters, in Happy Choppers, three foreboding heavy aircraft emerge from the clouds, forming an intimidating approach. A baby pink bow, attached to the leading aircrafts apex, disarms the viewer – a symbol of childhood innocence does not belong on a war machine. The contrast of the menacing choppers surrounded by sunny blue skies and cartoon-like clouds hints at the idea of ‘boys playing soldiers’ or ‘men playing war’.


    Banksy utilizes the innocence and moral virtue associated with children to turn a mirror on society, foregrounding its faults and injustices. Frequently combining images of childhood, and its closely connected notions of both purity and nostalgia, with somber and despondent themes of war, political division, and mass-surveillance, the artist evokes an increasingly powerful and provocative message. In Happer Chopper not only does the artist highlight the unnecessary losses of innocence in wartime but mocks the masculinity of militarism. 

    • Artist Biography


      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


Happy Choppers

Screenprint in colours, on wove paper, with full margins.
I. 67.3 x 47.4 cm (26 1/2 x 18 5/8 in.)
S. 69.9 x 50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 5/8 in.)

Signed and dated in black ink and numbered 7/750 in pencil (the total edition was 600 unsigned and 150 signed impressions), published by Pictures on Walls, London, with the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity issued by Pest Control, unframed.

Full Cataloguing

£40,000 - 60,000 ‡♠

Sold for £50,400

Contact Specialist

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions
T +44 207 318 4079
M +44 7502 417366

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe
T +44 207 318 4075
M +44 7824 994 784

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions
T +44 207 318 4042
M +44 7760 864 748   

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022