Toxic Mary Banksy
Find out more about Banksy’s Toxic Mary series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Banksy’s Toxic Mary, also called Virgin Mary, first appeared as a painting at Turf War, the street artist’s first major show in London in 2003. The screen print, in Banksy’s characteristic stencilled style, shows a woman cloaked in drapery feeding her infant son, and draws many parallels with classic Renaissance paintings of the Madonna and Child. However this bold and controversial artwork – some have even called it blasphemous – breaks firmly with tradition; here the Virgin Mary is feeding her baby with a bottle, and one marked with the ancient symbol for poison – the skull and crossbones – no less.
It is interesting to note that the work varies formally from Banksy’s usual style, with the clean lines of the stencil swapped for what looks like dripping paint that runs past the frame of the main image in a striking trompe l’oeil effect. However the print does share a similar theme and style with his later work Christ With Shopping Bags made in 2004 which also uses religious iconography to criticise mass consumerism and capitalism, and denounces the perversion of Christian values, especially the celebration of Christmas.
With its dull colours brought into relief by the yellow of the toxic bottle and the drips that seem to show the scene melting before our eyes, the print is undoubtedly one of Banksy’s darker works, evoking a sense of despair without any of the usual humour he employs to lift a bleak attack on society to witty satire.
Why is Toxic Mary important?
Here it seems the target of Banksy’s criticism is religion itself, represented as a toxic ideology passed from parents to children from a young age – an interpretation which has inevitably offended a number of Christians. On the other hand the work could also be a comment on the general toxicity of family relationships, in which outdated ideas and traditions repeat themselves endlessly, or even a riposte to the capitalist society that promotes Big Pharma baby formula over natural breast milk.
How do I buy Toxic Mary?
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of buying work by Banksy is by using us to reach a seller. MyArtBroker is a curated site, meaning we feature artists that our collectors say they want. You can find Banksy art for sale here. You’ll need to create a free account to buy or sell with us.
How can I sell Toxic Mary?
If you're looking to sell art by Banksy, click the link and we can help. We employ a number of techniques and practices in order to give a realistic and achievable valuation on any art listed on myartbroker.com. We analyse the demand for the work in question, take into consideration previous sales and auction valuations, we assess the current gallery valuation and monitor the current deals taking place via MyArtBroker every day. We regularly advise sellers on a price bracket for their artwork completely free of charge.