Rude Copper is one of Banksy’s most iconic, earliest images, released in 2002 as a rare edition of 100 of screen print and spray paint on card.
When Banksy created the Rude Copper mural, it featured two British police officers, sticking their middle fingers up at the viewer. The duo makes for an incredibly striking and impactful work of street art on the London street where it first appeared. In 2002, Banksy released Rude Copper as a screen print, though in the print only one of the two policemen appear. The print is an entirely black and white design with very little detailing. The officer raises his middle finger with an arrogant look upon his face, wearing an old fashioned custodian helmet, introduced into the British police force in 1863. Although still worn today, this garment is largely considered to be the staple of the old ‘Bobby on the Beat’, a local, friendly neighbourhood copper, who is a sharp contrast to the actions of the officer in the image. Banksy’s scathing opinion of authority and law enforcement can be seen across much of his artwork, and this is no exception. Donuts (chocolate) is another such print, formulating more light-heartedly humorous, tongue-in-cheek critique on the police.
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