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Critical Review

Banksy’s Lenin is a collection of standalone works, including originals and editions, created from 2002 and inspired by the Soviet Union leader Vladimir Lenin.

One of the best-known versions is Punk Lenin or Lenin Punk, depicting Lenin as a punk with a hooped earring and spiky mohawk hair on his bald head. The image is thought to have first appeared outside a public toilet in Bristol, Banksy’s hometown. A variation, spray painted onto a wooden pallet and titled Lenin On Pallet, featured in Banksy’s 2003 solo show Turf War alongside the artwork Turf War, featuring former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sporting a green, turf-like mohawk on his equally bald head. It was created as a signed edition of 5 originals. Another variation, featuring a red sniper rifle target next to Punk Lenin’s face, is known as Lenin In Sight.

Banksy’s Lenin On Roller Skates, also called Lenin On Skates and Lenin On Rollerblades (Who Put the Revolution on Ice?), shows Lenin pointing and striding across the canvas in Nike-branded roller-skates, the red swoosh logo adding the only splash of colour to an otherwise monochrome picture. It was created as an edition of 25.