Golf Sale Banksy
Golf Sale was one of the very first Banksy prints ever officially released, in 2003. Well-known and regularly in demand; its relatively low edition size contributes to its desirability – there are just 150 Golf Sale signed prints and 600 unsigned prints. It was printed by Pictures on Walls of London and came as an edition of 750, comprising 150 signed and 600 unsigned prints.
Golf Sale is almost entirely identical to the Tiananmen Square Tank Man photograph taken by Jeff Widener in 1989. Sometimes called the Unknown Protester, the incident took place in the aftermath of the Chinese military’s violent suppression of the ’89 Democracy Movement. The man stood directly and defiantly in front of Chinese military tanks attempting to block their path through Beijing. It is widely considered one of the most notable acts of non-violent intervention and is an iconic image of the 20th century. In his interpretation, Banksy recreates the scene in black and white, as is typical of his style, the protester stands in front of three imposing tanks, and into his hand, Banksy has inserted a sign, simply reading GOLF SALE.
In Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, a book released by Banksy in 2001, the artist said “We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime, we should all go shopping to console ourselves.” Banksy’s criticism of consumer society, as well as paying tribute to the ones who dare standing up to authority, can also be found in other prints such as Sale Ends, Christ With Shopping Bags and Festival (Destroy Capitalism).
As is also common in Banksy artwork, he reinforces a David and Goliath narrative when it comes to ‘the people’ standing up to authority, be that the military, law enforcement or politicians.