Lot Details

Banksy is unquestionably the most famous urban artist to have emerged from the British Street scene. Born in Bristol in 1974, Banksy’s art developed out of the Bristol underground street scene in the late 1980s. Heavily influenced by the work of the French artist Blek le Rat and by the members of the anarcho-punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube system in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Banksy’s work is known internationally for its cheeky, irreverent humour which pokes fun at the British Establishment and highlights social and political inequalities. Originally a street graffiti artist who painted and stenciled illegally at night, Banksy has consistently refused to reveal his true identity, this mystique has added considerably to his cult appeal.

Of all Banksy’s motifs, the Rat is perhaps the most instantly recognizable. It has appeared in Banksy’s work from the very beginning and comes in many characters and guises - Gangsta Rat, Love Rat, Radar Rat etc. The Rat symbolizes for the artist the ordinary working man who has no real power in society and who is despised by the Establishment in just the same way that rats are despised by society. The rat is also seen by the artist as a subversive character – individually rats are tiny and harmless but when there are thousands of them they have the power to bring society to its knees just as the ordinary working man has the power to change society if he unites.

The Gangsta Rat being offered for sale with Artnet is a rare print from the edition of 46 rather than the regular edition of 150. The regular edition is in a red colourway rather than the hot pink of the 46 edition. The print is sold with a Certificate of Authenticity from Pest Control. It is framed in a custom frame designed and made by Gary Townsend.

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  • Pictures on Walls Private Collection, London
  • Pickup Location: United Kingdom
  • Shipping Dimensions: 19.7 x 13.8 in. (50.04 x 35.05 cm.)

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