Banksy Trend Report Q1
Have A Nice Day

Have A Nice Day
Signed Print

Banksy

Screenprint, 2003
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 35cm x W 100cm

Critical Review

In one of the first ever screen prints released by Banksy, he takes on law enforcement in a bold and striking way; a landscape piece, which depicts almost thirty military or riot police lined up from left to right, in the middle of them a large military tank, locked and loaded. The piece is entitled Have a Nice Day, which is a hugely ironic sentiment given the menacing nature of the men in riot gear staring out of the canvas.

On close inspection of the work, each of the officers have their faces obscured with a yellow ‘acid-house’ smiley face, something most commonly associated with 1990s rave culture, but can be traced to its roots in popular culture of the 1960s when it was used as a feel-good symbol. Something so innocent and ‘happy’ however, was ripe for subversion and through the decades that followed, the smiley was coopted by various movements ranging from horror films, to serial killers, the Far Right and in popular graphic novel The Watchman - in which it is used to examine the corruption of power. This is incredibly pertinent to this piece by Banksy, with many of his images repurposing the yellow smiley.

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