Banksy Trend Report Q1
Happy Choppers

Happy Choppers
Signed Print


Screenprint, 2003
Signed Print Edition of 150
H 70cm x W 50cm

Critical Review

The overt and sarcastic criticism of warfare and military activity is something we have come to expect from Banksy artwork. This humorous artwork depicts a hailstorm of gunships, possibly Apaches, approaching over the horizon. A bright blue sky behind them, and fluffy cartoonish clouds belies the oncoming danger. The helicopters are incredibly detailed, with particularly accurate recreation of the rotor blades and landing gear - which serves to accentuate the peril evoked by the artwork. One helicopter is wrapped in a cutesy baby pink ribbon, as though it were a gift, which could be interpreted as a tongue-in-cheek comment on politicians’ rhetoric, who preach that when they “export” their democracy, they consider it a gift to the citizens whose lives they are about to turn upside down through violent conflict.

Some more critical commentary blamed Happy Choppers for making light of war, however it is unlike Banksy to be so blasé about the loss and destruction associated with military activity and intervention, which is an issue he has been seriously advocating against in his artistic practice such as with powerful works like Love is in the Air (Flower Thrower).

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