Flying Copper by Banksy

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.

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