Banksy, ‘Napalm (Can't beat the Feeling), from: In the darkest hour there may be light’, 2006, Christie's

Signed and dated in pencil, numbered 32/50 (there were also 29 artist's proofs), published by The Serpentine Gallery and Other Criteria, London, the full sheet, in very good condition.
Image 210 x 295 mm., Sheet 297 x 420 mm.

This lot is offered with the Certificate of Authenticity from Pest Control.
From the Catalogue:
Banksy’s works are renowned for their juxtaposition of humour and political comment, as exemplified in the present work. Napalm (Can’t beat the feeling) contrasts the shocking Pulitzer prize-winning image of Kim Phúc, who became known as the napalm girl, alongside two icons of American consumer culture, Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald.

The phrase ‘Can’t beat the feeling’ is a reference to the Coca-Cola slogan of the late 1980s, but in the present context creates a sickening juxtaposition with the image of Kim fleeing naked down a street, screaming in pain from the napalm burns down her back and arms.

Napalm comments not just on the horrors of the Vietnam war but of the then recent US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The comparison of one of the most infamous and provocative images of war with these symbolic figures of American pop culture highlights the often hidden commodification of war. Behind the seemingly innocent figures of these brand mascots, Banksy’s print seems to suggest a much grimmer reality, that of huge corporations in the reckless pursuit of profit, often at the expense of the most vulnerable.

This special digital print edition of Napalm (Can’t beat the feeling) in black with a red ‘blood splatter’ was issued in a signed edition of fifty following the screenprinted version in black, grey and yellow.
—Courtesy of Christie's

Christie's Special Notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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