What To Collect Now - Prints & Editions Report

Super Mare

Banksy's Weston Super Mare print series is a bleak tribute to the English seaside town. The series foreshadowed the artist's "Dismaland" project there and demonstrates his deprecating affection for Weston. Though a saw menacingly approaches the pensioner in the image, Banksy creates a slapstick-styled reminder to make the most of life.

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Meaning & Analysis

Banksy’s Weston Super Mare is as a tribute to the British Seaside Town undercut by a sense of the artist's dark humour. The print features a senior citizen sitting on a bench, his hands folded across his lap, and his cane resting beside him. He is a figure blissfully unaware of the impending danger that is approaching him in the form of a circular saw, cutting its way through the promenade.

Banksy's former printer, Pictures on Walls, has described the work as "a cheerful tribute to the great British seaside towns, ideal for anyone that has walked the streets screaming “you’re all going to die” at groups of old age pensioners."

The work appears to suggest that even the most comfortable among us are unavoidably accompanied by impending doom. Despite this dismal - but inevitable - prospect, this Banksy print can also be read as uncharacteristically uplifting. It is a healthy reminder that we should make the most of every moment, to stop and take in the view ever once in a while.

While the man and the bench are depicted in the artist's typical monochromatic stencil style, the long strip of grey and the sky blue background are more reminiscent of vintage British seaside posters. The resort in question here is Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, where Banksy once opened his notorious Dismaland. The project was described by the artist as a ‘bemusement park … a family theme park unsuitable for children.’