Have A Nice Day Banksy
Have a Nice Day depicts twenty-seven military or riot police in a single, intimidating, line. In the centre of the personnel is a grey and black tank, underneath which the words ‘Have a nice day’ are written. The twenty-seven men are kitted out in all black riot gear, marching in unison against a ‘threat’ unseen or in fact towards the viewer of the piece. The faces of the police, which in reality would be covered with protective visors are covered with bright yellow ‘acid-house’ style smiley faces; a motif we see fairly regularly in Banksy prints, particularly when it comes to portraying figures that use fear as a means of control – for example, Banksy’s Grin Reaper and Flying Copper, which both use the smiley face to challenge the viewer and flip the norm. Whether or not Banksy intended Have a Nice Day to intimidate or amuse, the artwork certainly speaks both to the idea that the police force are not all they seem (perhaps hiding behind their smiles) and to the concept of them being simply there to be ridiculed.
As a Banksy image, this piece is well-known and is regularly in demand; its relatively low edition size contributes to its desirability – there are just 50 Have A Nice Day signed prints and 350 unsigned prints. This is another piece of artwork released in 2003 which tackles themes of militarisation and authoritarian rule.