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Flying
Copper

Find out more about Banksy's Flying Copper series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Buy and sell Banksy prints

Banksy: Flying Copper - Unsigned Print
Flying Copper Unsigned Print 
Banksy

£20,000-£40,000 Guide

AUD35,000-AUD70,000 Guide

CAD30,000-CAD60,000 Guide

CNY150,000-CNY310,000 Guide

20,000-45,000 Guide

HKD170,000-HKD340,000 Guide

¥3,110,000-¥6,220,000 Guide

$20,000-$45,000 Guide

Banksy: Flying Copper - Signed Print
Flying Copper Signed Print 
Banksy

£70,000-£90,000 Guide

AUD120,000-AUD150,000 Guide

CAD100,000-CAD130,000 Guide

CNY540,000-CNY700,000 Guide

80,000-100,000 Guide

HKD600,000-HKD770,000 Guide

¥10,890,000-¥14,000,000 Guide

$80,000-$100,000 Guide

Banksy: Flying Copper (pink) - Signed Print
Flying Copper (pink) Signed Print 
Banksy

£120,000-£170,000 Guide

AUD200,000-AUD280,000 Guide

CAD180,000-CAD250,000 Guide

CNY930,000-CNY1,310,000 Guide

130,000-190,000 Guide

HKD1,020,000-HKD1,450,000 Guide

¥18,670,000-¥26,450,000 Guide

$130,000-$180,000 Guide

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Critical Review

Flying Copper is an iconic example of Banksy's early work, where a heavily armed British police officer dons angel wings and a yellow smiley face.

On a flat coloured backdrop, sky blue or pink depending on the edition, Flying Copper depicts a strange and paradoxical character: the policeman, fully equipped with machine-gun, helmet, walkie-talkie and handcuffs, but topped with a striking, stick-on face and a pair of small angel-like wings. The smiley is both a nod to 1990s acid house culture and the innocence of childhood, depending on your interpretation.

These Banksy prints were released in 2003 as 150 signed and 600 unsigned editions, all featuring the yellow acid-house smiley face. There are also a select few rare Artist's Proofs with a pink smiley instead.

Flying Copper was Banksy's first print release in collaboration with Steve Lazarides and was originally sold for £40 each from the back of Lazarides' car. It first appeared under a number of giant cut-out paintings suspended on cardboard from the ceiling at Turf War, Banksy’s first major exhibition in a warehouse in East London in 2003.

Flying Copper murals were then spotted on the streets of Vienna, London and Berlin. Some appeared with a distinct red Banksy tag through the middle, others had a red, blood-like splatter. A railway bridge in Shoreditch also once featured a row of Flying Coppers, but unfortunately, part of this installation was stolen and subsequently featured in a 2012 documentary entitled How to sell a Banksy.

10 Facts About Banksy’s Flying Copper

Flying Copper (AP pink face) by Banksy

Flying Copper (AP pink face) © Banksy 2003

1. Flying Copper first appeared at Banksy’s Turf War exhibition

Turf War was Banksy’s first major exhibition, held in a warehouse in East London in 2003. There, a series of cardboard cut-out Flying Coppers hung from the ceiling, surrounding Banksy’s punk portrait of Winston Churchill (also titled Turf War). The exhibition introduced other now-iconic Banksy works and motifs – including Toxic Mary and spray-painted animals, which he would feature in his infamous Barely Legal exhibition in 2006.

Have A Nice Day by Banksy

Have A Nice Day © Banksy 2003

2. Flying Copper‘s smiley face has been interpreted in three different ways

The yellow smiley face is a motif associated with the acid house music scene of the 1990s. It also evokes the happiness, simplicity, and innocence of childhood – a recurring theme in many of Banksy’s works. But the cheerful face appears in complete contrast with the riot officer’s heavy armour and machine gun, and it is used to disarm and unsettle the viewer. Banksy also featured the yellow smiley face in his print Have A Nice Day.

Stop And Search by Banksy

Stop And Search © Banksy 2007

3. What is the meaning of Banksy’s Flying Copper?

Flying Copper shows Banksy’s distrust of authority: the riot officer’s wings may look angelic, but they are small and useless compared to the oppressive machine gun and riot gear. The office hides behind a smiling face and façade of benevolence but is, in reality, a dangerous threat – a reference to police brutality that is as relevant now as it was back in 2003.

Flying Copper (Blue) by Banksy

Flying Copper (Blue) © Banksy 2003