Sale Ends Banksy
Featuring a group of cloaked women prostrated beneath a large red sign, Sale Ends was first created in 2006 for Banksy’s iconic American show ‘Barely Legal’, which took place in a warehouse in Los Angeles in September 2006.
Part of the ‘Barely Legal Print Set’ series, the work was made as an edition of 100 unsigned prints and sold at the show for $500 apiece. Further prints in the series included Morons, Applause, Trolleys, Grannies and Festival and together the set is considered to be one of the most rare and valuable collections of street art on the market. A seventh print depicting an aristocrat being hit in the face with a pie was supposed to complete the collection, but the piece was later dropped. In 2007 Pictures on Walls re-released Sale Ends with an additional 150 signed Sale Ends prints.
When Pictures On Walls announced in 2017 they had ‘been taken over by venture anti-capitalists and will cease trading from 31st December 2017″, they held a closing down sale, during which they released a few remaining print editions as well as 5o0 prints of Sale Ends up for sale via a lottery system, the print was a reworked Sale Ends of the original that was produced in 2006.
Sale Ends is imbued with the artist’s characteristic satirical wit. It shows a group of four cloaked women starkly outlined in Banksy’s signature black-and-white stencilled style on a white background. Prostrated in front of the sign, the women are reminiscent of the lamenting figures typically seen at the base of the crucifixion in Renaissance paintings. The bold red sign bears the words ‘SALE ENDS TODAY’ in large white capitals, and is the only coloured element of the composition, evoking typical shop signs designed to catch people’s attention and make them buy products they don’t necessarily need, in an obvious critique of our materialistic society. Through this piece, the artist is pointing at the near-religious fervour with which contemporary society regards consumerism, particularly around such events as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. The women in Sale Ends seem to be both mourning the last day of the sale and worshiping capitalism.