Sid Vicious by Banksy

Sid Vicious Banksy

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

Sid Vicious, painted circa 2000, is one of Banksy’s first canvases, however the vibrant colour palette and format sets the work apart from much of the artist’s early output. A second edition was made the same year and includes a white target symbol spray painted in the middle of the canvas as if someone were taking aim at the punk rocker.

Here Banksy pays tribute to the bass guitarist and vocalist of the Sex Pistols, at the same time referencing the influence of Andy Warhol’s silkscreens. The sequence of nine portraits replicated in a grid formation is deliberately evocative of Warhol, whose repeated portraits of world-famous icons such as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn Diptych and Shot Marilyns, and Elvis Presley in Elvis 21 Times and Eight Elvises have become shorthand for the Pop Art movement.

Sid Vicious embodied the punk subculture of the 1970s and 80s, his image standing for a group of artists, musicians, and members of the public who declared themselves to be opposed to convention, especially that of mass-produced popular music and consumerism. The Punk movement itself was characterised by its anti-establishment views and a wish for individual freedom.

Whilst Warhol’s Marilyn series presents a critique on mass production and consumerism associated with pop culture, Banksy challenges the concept further, using a well-known visual motif of Punk culture to question the cultural perspective of Pop Art whilst venerating the Punk musician and the Punk ideology.

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