Street artist Bansky has been surprising the world since the 90’s. From then on Banksy’s silkscreen prints and stencil paintings were racking up record-breaking sales in storied art auctions such as Sotheby’s and Bonham’s of London. These successful sales marked Banksy’s entry into the commercial art world.
For this article, we are sharing Banksy’s less mainstream paintings and prints mostly dating in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Riot Painting features Banksy’s arguably most famous piece the “Flower Thrower”. At first glance it looks like a rioter about to throw a Molotov Cocktail. However this “rioter” is throwing a bouquet of flowers instead.
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.
On these series, 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 and Elvis Presley.
Banksy’s Armored Dove of Peace is a political message meant to criticize those who are part of the Palestine-Iranian conflict. The piece features a white dove with its wings out wide in an open arm stance holding an olive branch in its beak which is supposed to be the symbol of peace, but the dove depicted here wears an armored vest with the target pointed at its chest.