Flying Copper Banksy
Find out more about Banksy’s Flying Copper series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Flying Copper is an iconic piece from Banksy’s early work. The image depicts a heavily armed British police officer with angel wings and a yellow smiley face. Flying Copper screen prints were released in 2003 in two different colours; the pink edition includes 63 signed prints while the blue edition 600 Flying Copper unsigned prints with one artist’s proof featuring a pink smiley face. An edition of 150 signed prints was also released by Picture on Walls in 2004.
The work first appeared under a number of giant cut-out paintings suspended on cardboard from the ceiling at Turf War, Banksy’s first major exhibition in a warehouse in East London in 2003. Flying Copper murals were then spotted on the streets of Vienna, London and Berlin. Some appeared with a distinct red Banksy tag through the middle, others had a red, blood-like splatter. A railway bridge in Shoreditch also once featured a row of Flying Coppers, but unfortunately part of this installation was stolen and subsequently featured in a 2012 documentary entitled How to sell a Banksy.
On a flat coloured background, sky blue or pink depending on the edition, Flying Copper depicts a strange and paradoxical character: the policeman, fully equipped with machine-gun, helmet, walkie-talkie and handcuffs, but topped with a striking yellow smiley face and a pair of small angel-like wings. The smiley is both a nod to 1990s acid house culture and the innocence of childhood, depending on the interpretation.
Why is Flying Copper important?
Banksy’s artwork, like most of his creations, is based on the appropriation of pop culture and contrasts. There is a clear satirical disparity between the happiness and simplicity of the smiley, and the policeman’s armour. The smiley face and the angel wings are angelic, whereas his equipment evokes oppression and threat. Flying Copper underlines a theme consistent in the artist’s work – scepticism towards figures of authority and power, a subject also dealt with in Love is in the Air, Monkey Queen or Turf War.
How do I buy Flying Copper?
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