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Critical Review

Originating from his 2013 film project Rebel Rocket Attack, Banksy’s Dumbo print depicts the titular cartoon character held hostage by rebel fighters. The film was created during his New York residency in 2013, and takes the war in Syria as its subject. The video is a direct spoof of the YouTube videos uploaded by Syrian rebels throughout the conflict, and this Banksy print is based on a project still.

Rebel Rocket Attack shows footage of a group of fighters firing a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) at an unidentifiable flying object. The assumption to begin with is that the rocket has struck a Syrian regime aircraft, as the rebels celebrate, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ over and over the object crashes to the ground. It turns out the target of their shot was Dumbo, the well-loved Disney character, who dies at the rebels' feet.

The print therefore, shows the iconic flying baby elephant after he has been shot out of the sky. One of the men is on top of Dumbo, celebrating the kill, while three other men point their weapons at the pathetic looking hostage. Rendered largely in black and white, with a touch of pastel yellow on Dumbo’s hat, this artwork has been finished with watercolour and signed in pencil by Banksy himself.

Why is Dumbo important?

Politically charged art is nothing new to Banksy, and throughout his oeuvre he has made a number of comments on the situation in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. This work is well-known and regularly in demand; its relatively low edition size contributes to its desirability – there are just 25 Dumbo signed prints.

How do I buy Dumbo?

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How can I sell my Dumbo?

If you're looking to sell art by Banksy, click the link and we can help. We employ a number of techniques and practices in order to give a realistic and achievable valuation on any art listed on myartbroker.com. We analyse the demand for the work in question, take into consideration previous sales and auction valuations, we assess the current gallery valuation and monitor the current deals taking place via MyArtBroker every day. We regularly advise sellers on a price bracket for their artwork completely free of charge.