Choose Your Weapon Banksy
Find out more about Banksy’s ‘Choose Your Weapon’ series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Banksy’s Choose Your Weapon (also known as CYW) first appeared on a wall of The Grange pub, in Bermondsey, London, in 2010. Shortly after the stencil appeared on the street, it was boarded over. It then reappeared, framed and covered in Perspex. In August 2016, it was reported that the Perspex itself had been covered in posters and flyers obscuring it from view entirely. It is unknown if the work still exists in the same location, or if it is just obscured from view.
In December 2010 Pictures On Walls released limited edition prints of the mural to hordes of fans who queued for hours in the cold to get their hands on a work by Banksy. The queue notoriously got out of control, with desperate fans pushing and shoving, which resulted in Banksy releasing a special queue jumping edition in grey for those who missed their chance.
The collection of prints is available in different colours: Bright Pink, Dark Blue, Dark Orange, Gold, Green, Khaki, Lemon, Light Orange, Magenta, Olive, Grey (Queue Jump), Red, Silver, Sky Blue, Slate, Soft Yellow, Turquoise and White.
The present work depicts a hooded man with dark clothing and a bandana hiding his face, a visual motif recurrent in Banksy’s stencil work and meant to signify a British disaffected youth. The man’s menacing appearance is contrasted by his casual hand-in-the-pocket posture and his cartoon dog, who is chained and barking.
The connotation in much of the media at the time, and in Banksy’s own interpretation, is that the dog has become an alternative weapon on the streets of the UK.
The minimalist animal, painted in a hieroglyphic all-white silhouette, is in contrast to the hyper-realistic representation of his master and the style is a clear nod to American pop artist Keith Haring whose Barking Dog is one of the most recognised motifs of contemporary art in the 1980s. Like Banksy, Haring too rose to prominence through his graffiti drawings, making him an important influence for the street artist.
Why is Choose Your Weapon important?
Choose Your Weapon is a striking portrayal of British disaffected youth and gang culture whose aggressive dogs have become seen as weaponry in their quest for power. However the reference to Haring, and the harmless nature of the stylised dog puts a characteristic spin on this message – here Banksy invites us to 'choose our weapon', to turn stigma and prejudice into kindness and peace.
How do I buy Choose Your Weapon?
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