Radar Rat by Banksy

Radar Rat Banksy

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

Radar Rat is one of the most coveted works by Banksy due to its small edition size of 75 signed prints, each hand-finished by the artist himself. The work was originally known as ‘Sonic Rat’ and was first released by Banksy’s print publisher Pictures on Walls (POW) at the artist’s Santa’s Ghetto pop-up shop.

Banksy’s Radar Rat also appeared on a few walls in the streets of London, including the Chelsea area in 2002. They were later reproduced on canvas in 2004 as well as on the cover of Dirty Funker’s ‘Future’ album in 2008.

Spray-stencilled in Banksy’s signature style, the Radar Rat is shown standing on its hind legs, wearing headphones and holding a tape recorder in one hand and a sonic radar in the other. Behind him is a hand-painted red (or sometimes orange) spiral. He appears to be listening intently to the world around him, in what seems to be a comment on the ever-increasing presence of surveillance equipment in cities such as London.

The popularity of the rat as a symbol in street art began with the rise of Blek le Rat, a French stencil artist who initiated the urban art movement in France in the 80s. Also known as Xavier Prou, the ‘Father of stencil graffiti art’ began to spray-paint small rats in the streets of Paris and on the banks of the Seine “because rats are the only wild animals living in cities, and only rats will survive when the human race disappears and dies out. I wanted to do a rat invasion. I put thousands all over Paris.”

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