Pulp Fiction by Banksy

Pulp Fiction Banksy

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Banksy’s Pulp Fiction depicts a famous scene from the eponymous 1994 film by Quentin Tarantino. It was released in 2004 an edition of just 150 official Pulp Fiction signed and 600 unsigned prints. However, it first appeared in 2002 as a stencilled composition in the streets of London, near Old Street tube station. It was visible until 2007, until Transport for London painted over the wall, estimated at £300,000, on the grounds that the work lent an atmosphere of social decay and neglect in the capital, despite the well-known drawing art fans and tourists to the area. When the mural was covered, a local artist sprayed-painted the words “Come Back” in its place, addressed to Banksy. Banksy then re-tagged his original Pulp Fiction in exactly the same place, but this time the characters were holding real pistols and wearing banana costumes instead.

In January 2007, the late graffiti artist Ozone wrote over the new piece with the words “If it’s better next time I’ll leave it”. The 19-year-old artist tragically passed away a few days later, along with fellow artist Wants, after both were hit by an underground train in Barking, East London. Banksy created another piece over his original Pulp Fiction mural in tribute to the two young graffiti artists, depicting an angel wearing a bulletproof vest and holding a skull in his right hand. He also posted a note on his website that read “When we lost Ozone we lost a fearless graffiti writer and as it turns out a pretty perceptive art critic. Ozone – rest in peace”. The tribute mural was quickly referred to as “Ozone’s Angel”. Subsequently, Banksy’s original Pulp Fiction mural also became immediately popular, and was mass-reproduced on commercial merchandise. 

The work depicts the two characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in the 1994 American film Pulp Fiction. Rendered in white stencilled forms on a black background, Banksy’s version presents the protagonists Vincent and Jules, side-by-side and aiming their firearms in synchronisation. However, in a humorous and ironic twist, their pistols have been replaced by bright yellow bananas, the only touch of colour in the otherwise monochrome composition. 

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