Once installing one of his own paintings in the Tate, Banksy has gone on to be a leading figure in the street art genre, his prints are in high demand all over the world, as are the walls on which he stencils his pieces. If you want to buy Banksy art, but you’re not sure where to start, our A-Z guide might be a good place to begin.
Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill, an original print by Street Artist, Banksy, depicts two children, one boy in t-shirt and shorts and a girl with pig-tails in a polkadot dress holding a bag with flowers, running together in what looks like an idyllic scene; but the two children are wearing bulletproof Police vests. The background is a block corn-flower blue. The children are a pale mustard yellow, their clothes white and midnight blue.
The artwork could be seen to say that, although these children are clearly in a time of innocence and in need of protection themselves, some of them will go on to become police officers, and either protect society, or not, depending on how you view the Police.
Jack and Jill is sometimes known as ‘Police Kids’, and was originally released in 2005. A total of 700 prints were released, half signed and half unsigned.
Banksy’s original screenprint, Kate Moss, is one of his more colourful pieces of wall art and is highly desirable.
The image of the famous model, Kate Moss, is an homage to Pop Artist Andy Warhol’s rendition of Marilyn Monroe (and other famous Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor) – in doing this he is imbuing Kate Moss with their ‘eternal’ and ‘timeless’ characteristic now associated with Warhol’s images.
Banksy’s first rendition of Kate Moss surfaced in 2005 when Kate Moss was on honeymoon she had her bathroom redecorated. When she returned, she found the artwork in her bathroom waiting for her — who organised Banksy’s access to Moss’s bathroom, and equally, who commissioned the work is not known; but likely to have been someone from Moss’ inner circle. This version of the original canvas was created in 2011.
The released versions of Banksy’s Kate Moss come in two different formats.
Laugh Now is one Banksy’s most famous images, and certainly one of his most witty. This monochromatic original screenprint depicts a monkey, standing upright like a human, and wearing a sandwich board that reads, ‘Laugh Now But One Day We’ll Be In Charge.’
This artwork originally appeared in 2002, and demonstrates the anonymous artist’s famous stencil style. The meaning of the work could be said to represent man’s eon-old feud with his primate cousins (see: man’s apocalyptic imaginings such as Planet of the Apes), and our juxtaposed association with these primates being both our ancestors, and our potential heirs.
Our lack of respect for our primate cousins has lead to use using them for a number of degrading tasks and entertainments, as this downtrodden monkey employee demonstrates, but with the lack of respect and abuse of power comes guilt, and paranoia, which Banksy plays on in this piece.
Banksy’s original screenprint Love Hurts is one of the British Street Artist’s more colourful artworks.
The painting is of a red, heart-shaped balloon – like one might get at a fairground – that has obviously escaped its previous owner and ended up trapped in a barbed wire fence. The balloon is complete with a plaster covering a wound. The background is a block, light blue.
This image, printed on wove paper, was released in 2012; and in its apparent simplicity demonstrates the complex idea that the innocent emotion of love can often be a very painful, torturous experience – but that the right one can set you/the balloon free. It is a rending of an image most likely sprayed onto canvas from the early 2000s.
Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower)
Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower) is arguably one of Banksy’s most famous images of all-time – and that’s saying something for Banksy.
This original, limited edition print depicts a photo-real young man, stenciled in Banksy’s trademark spray/stencil style harking back to his beginnings as a graffiti artist. The angry young man in the painting is wearing a bandana as a mask, and in the action of what looks like throwing a rock or a Molotov cocktail, but instead clutches a bunch of wrapped flowers.
This artwork first appeared on a wall in Jerusalem in 2003. A later rendition of the mural was made on canvas as a piece of wall art, with spray paint and oil paint in 2006. It’s been suggested to represent love and peace being an essential weapon for protestors if they want to effect true change. It’s appearance as a piece of graffiti in Jerusalem, indicates he believes there is still hope for the conflict-ridden area.
This print is largely monochromatic with a block colour background.
Like fellow Graffiti Artist, Blek Le Rat, one of Banksy’s favourite characters is a rat, and Love Rat was one of the Banksy’s rat’s first incarnations.
In this original screenpint we see the rat has daubed a red heart with a paintbrush he is still holding. The Love Rat image first appeared in Liverpool, and as rats are often connoted with being dirty and disliked, this painting could either be suggesting that even the worst of the worst love someone; or, if you see the dripping red heart the rat has just painted as bleeding, then the love rat is the creator of the pain — as Banksy jokingly advertised this print on his site: “Ideal for a cheating spouse.”
Undoubtedly one of the most recognisable pieces by Banksy, this piece is hugely popular with people looking to by Banksy artwork, although is rarely available.
This limited edition print was part of an edition of 750 and was released in 2004.