Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions
Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions
Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions
Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions
Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions
Banksy, ‘Umbrella Rat’, 2004, Julien's Auctions

This lot is sold with No Reserve
A black aerosol stencil depicting a white-collared rat, wearing a bowler hat and tie, parachuting with an umbrella. Executed by Banksy during his German tour of in 2004 on a heavy steel door located below an S-Bahn railway arch in Berlin-Mitte. This particular stencil has been used by Banksy in multiple locations during his 2004 visit to Berlin and is documented in his book of his own works Wall and Piece (Century, 2005) and Existencilism (Weapons of Mass Distraction, 2002) where the exact same rat stencil can be seen executed on a traffic sign in Berlin in 2004.

Banksy's rat imagery has become of of his signature motifs, viewing them as a metaphor for the potential uprising of the masses. Banksy is quoted in his self-published book Existencilism (Weapons of Mass Distraction, 2002) referring to the usage of his rat imagery saying, "Like most people I have a fantasy that all the little powerless losers will gang up together. That all the vermin will get some good equipment and then the underground will go overground and tear this city apart."

  • Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

Originally acuqired legally from a construction company in 2007. Accompanied by literature references.
Framed: 48 x 83 in.

Cut It Out (Weapons of Mass Distraction, 2004), pg 26
Existencilism (Weapons of Mass Distraction, 2002)

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

Exhibition Highlights

Venice Biennale, 
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy,