One of Banksy’s first commercial prints is set to go on sale next week.
Banksy’s Rude Copper (2002) is believed to be one of his first ever screenprints. It features a policeman in front of a wall of graffiti, sticking his middle finger up at the viewer.
It will go up for auction with eight other Banksy works at Forum’s Editions and Works On Paper Auction next week and has an estimate of between £70,000-90,000. It was purchased in 2003 at Sydney’s Semi Permanent exhibition for AUS$400.
Rude Copper is a numbered edition of 250. Of that 250 only thirty were signed and even fewer were sprayed with the ‘FUCK THE POLICE’ tagline.
According to the description the image: “questions the traditionally romanticised image of the friendly neighbourhood bobby on the beat, instead warning us to be wary of authority. The image also parodies the cat-and-mouse relationship between graffiti artists and the police’s efforts to crack down on the vandalism of public spaces.”
There are eight other Banksy artworks appearing in the sale, other highlights include Napalm, the distressing image of a naked Vietnamese girl crying after a Napalm bombing and holding hands with Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald; Love Is In The Air, where a young man with his face covered by a bandana is caught mid-action as he throws a bunch of flowers instead of a weapon; Morons (Sepia), which depicts a room full of people bidding at an art auction; and Monkey Queen, a monkey wearing a crown in front of a mod-style blue, red and white target. All in Banksy’s typically subversive style and tone.
The auction will take place on January 21 at the Westbury Hotel.