Banksy Trend Report Q1

Stop
And Search

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

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Critical Review

Featuring the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy and Toto, Banksy’s Stop and Search shows the protagonist’s basket being rifled through by a gloved policeman. Here, Dorothy is shown having her wicker basket searched by a uniformed police officer in a satirical take on the controversial stop and search legislation first introduced by the UK government in the '80s. A policy more recently criticised by much of the left for its unfair targeting of ethnic minorities.

Printed in black and white except for the blue of the policeman’s disposable gloves, the print shows Dorothy in her now iconic gingham dress, her face betraying her concern at her treatment. Played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, Dorothy is typical of the harmless female character trope peddled by Hollywood throughout the 20th century - a girl portrayed as harmless and naive, and whose catchphrase ‘there’s no place like home’ represents her childhood innocence.

This is only reinforced by the presence of her little terrier Toto who represents further celebrated values of loyalty and companionship. This Banksy print therefore, subverts those traditional associations with the introduction of the officer clad in riot gear, intent on finding contraband items.