Dumbo by Banksy

Dumbo Banksy

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During his New York residency in 2013, Banksy created a film entitled Rebel Rocket Attack, from which the present work originates. Taking the war in Syria as its subject, the video is a direct spoof of the YouTube videos uploaded by Syrian rebels throughout the conflict.

It shows footage of a group of fighters firing a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) at an unidentifiable flying object. The assumption to begin with is that the rocket has struck a Syrian regime aircraft and as the rebels celebrate, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ over and over the object crashes to the ground. It turns out the target of their shot was Dumbo, the well-loved Disney character, who dies at the rebels’ feet.

The print derived from the film shows the iconic flying baby elephant after he has been shot out of the sky. One of the men is on top of Dumbo, celebrating the kill, while three other men are pointing their weapons at the pathetic looking hostage. Rendered largely in black and white, with a touch of pastel yellow on Dumbo’s hat, this artwork has been finished with watercolour and signed in pencil by Banksy himself.

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