Get Out While You Can (Placard Rat) by Banksy

Get Out While You Can (Placard Rat) Banksy

Find out more about Banksy’s ‘Get Out While You Can (Placard Rat)’ series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Get Out While You Can is part of the Placard Rat series, a trilogy of three screen prints released in 2004 featuring the artist’s iconic rat holding up a placard bearing the work’s title.

The inspiration behind the series comes from Get Out While You Can by author George Marshall, a book explaining exactly how to escape the rat race. A number of variations of the Placard Rat were painted by Banksy in the streets of London as well as many other rats, leading to the rodent becoming a signature motif, or even alter ego, for the artist. 

Get Out While You Can shows a rat painted in the artist’s famous black and white stencilled style. The work was first seen on Chiswell Street in London, accompanied by the words ‘London Doesn’t Work’.

Here the rat, standing on its hind legs, is holding up a placard emblazoned with the words ‘Get Out While You Can’ in bright red or pink handwriting, the only splash of colour in the composition. By giving the figure of the rat a voice Banksy is speaking for those oppressed and defeated by the endless competition and consumerism of late capitalism.

The rat is wearing a necklace bearing a peace sign, and his holding of the sign implies he is engaged in a form of social protest as well as warning of a danger still to come. Perhaps Banksy sees something of himself in his infamous rat character as an artist who works under the radar, operating largely at night, and is considered by much of society to be a pest.

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