Napalm by Banksy

Napalm Banksy

Find out more about Banksy’s ‘Napalm’ series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Napalm, also known as Can’t Beat That Feeling, is a powerful print that reinvents the famous photograph The Terror of War, taken on 8 June 1972 by photographer Nick Ut during the Vietnam conflict. The following year, the photograph won both the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography and the World Press Photo of the Year.

Napalm is one of Banksy’s most poignant works. Upon publication the original photograph shook audiences worldwide to the core with its shocking portrayal of Vietnamese children fleeing from a napalm blast that had just hit their home in Trang Bang village. The focal point of the photograph is a nine-year-old girl named Phan Thi Kim Phuc, running naked in fear down a road alongside other children and soldiers of the Vietnam Army. Despite suffering severe burns to her back, she survived the attack and now lives in Canada. She has since been the focus of a book entitled The Girl in the Picture by author Denise Chong, published in 1996.

In Banksy’s reimagining of the famous image, Phan Thi Kim Phuc is similarly positioned in the centre of the composition, but is flanked on either side by the popular characters Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald, characters that represent two of the world’s most litigious corporations. This establishes a disarming juxtaposition in one of Banksy’s most cutting and provocative social criticisms. The horror of the scene is twisted and intensified by the pair of beaming characters, seemingly unconcerned by her distress, forcing the viewer to question their benevolence. Are they saving her life or guiding her to her fate?

Read more

Art for Sale

View All (44)

Related Artists