Banksy, ‘Angel’, 2009, Phillips
Banksy, ‘Angel’, 2009, Phillips
Banksy, ‘Angel’, 2009, Phillips

Property Subject to VAT Section 4, 5%; Property Subject to Artist's Resale Right (see Conditions of Sale for further information)

This work is unique and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control.

From the Catalogue:
The elusive figure of Banksy, whose recognisable works have captured the attention of a worldwide audience, shrouds his works in a veil of anonymity that drives his international popularity. This carefully concealed selfhood allows Banksy, incognito, to continue to create his boundary-pushing works, loaded with an underlying social and political commentary. With roots in the Bristol underground movement, his distinctive use of the stencil was adapted out of necessity by the artist during his youth as a means of efficiently finishing works, unnoticed, in public spaces. Executing works both in public spaces and in the studio, Banksy effortlessly negotiates between the worlds of street and fine art.

This fusion of genres is exemplified in Angel, an image of the Holy Virgin created in Banksy’s signature stencil style. This recognisable motif immediately recalls countless art historical images of the Ascension created by Western artists during the 15th to 17th centuries. This strong art historical reference, rendered in spray paint as opposed to oil paints, establishes a dialogue between the dichotomy of street and fine art. Furthermore, Angel is also typically imbued with a poignant social commentary; this particular stencil has appeared before in Banksy’s oeuvre - a work featuring the same image of the Holy Virgin appeared in Naples at the Piazza dei Girolamini, and has locally become known as the ‘Napoli Angel’ or the ‘Madonna con Pistol.’ In this instance, the Virgin is depicted in her assent towards an iconised pistol, with potent, blood-red droplets on her monochromatic chest indicative of a gunshot wound, arguably signalling a problem with the glorification of crime in the area.

In this sense, Banksy’s bleeding angel displays his mission: the anarchic and turbulence of the street is represented in the glaring wound, puncturing the heart of the angel motif, an image which represents sanctified, classical art history. Satirical and engaged, as well as technically accomplished, Angel attests to Banksy’s global reputation as one of the most prolific and intriguing artists of our time.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: stencilled 'BANKSY' on the frame edge

Pest Control, London
Private Collection, London (acquired from the above)
Phillips, London, 12 February 2015, lot 24
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

About Banksy

Whether plastering cities with his trademark parachuting rat, painting imagined openings in the West Bank barrier in Israel, or stenciling “We’re bored of fish” above a penguins’ zoo enclosure, Banksy creates street art with an irreverent wit and an international reputation that precedes his anonymous identity. “TV has made going to the theatre seem pointless, photography has pretty much killed painting,” he says, “but graffiti has remained gloriously unspoilt by progress.” Banksy has gained his notoriety through a range of urban interventions, from modifying street signs and printing his own currency to illegally hanging his own works in institutions such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art. Most often using spray paint and stencils, Banksy has crafted a signature, immediately identifiable graphic style—and a recurring cast of cops, soldiers, children, and celebrities—through which he critically examines contemporary issues of consumerism, political authority, terrorism, and the status of art and its display.

British, Bristol, United Kingdom