Monkey Queen is one of Banksy’s earliest, controversial screen prints in colour, released as an unsigned edition of 600 in 2003.
Monkey Queen is a quintessential example of Banksy’s daring, unapologetic humour. The colourful work depicts a monkey wearing all the ornamentation of a Queen -- crown, diamond necklace and earrings – in front of a background of red, white, blue, except not that of the Union Jack, more the ‘target’ symbol synonymous with Mods. The three colour artwork of the photo-realistic monkey in Banksy’s spray-stencil-style is reminiscent of his earlier work Laugh Now, in which he prophesizes a society run by our primate cousins. Having a monkey queen would be the ultimate symbol of monkeys taking over (as envisaged in Planet of the Apes). This painting first appeared at a youth centre’s club called The Chill Out Zone on Broad Street in Newent in around 2004.
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