Banksy Radar Rat Signed Print

Radar Rat Banksy

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 for £300.

Banksy’s Radar Rat can also be seen on a few walls in the streets of London, including the King’s Road, and was 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.

Rats play an important part in Banksy’s iconography and are said to be emblematic of street art itself. In his 2005 autobiographical book Wall and Piece – which features over 30 different representations of rats from the artist’s early career painted in the United Kingdom and Germany – Banksy writes, “[Rats] exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilisations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.” In this way the rat can be associated with the figure of the graffiti artist who is also smart and resourceful yet unloved and chased by the authorities, forced to act under the cover of darkness.

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