Banksy, ‘V.I.P. Rat’, 2005, Julien's Auctions

V.I.P. Rat is a sardonic sign created by Banksy using red and black aerosol for the 2005 Glastonbury Music Festival. Located on a chain link fence partitioning two areas, this work depicts a rat pawing a martini, both enclosed in a red circle above the words V.I.P. AREA. Banksy’s presence was well documented at the Glastonbury festival, where he created a number of original works that were displayed throughout the grounds. The stencil of the Rat has been reused by Banksy countless times throughout England, satirizing the pseudo elite crowd that he compares to the lowest, filthiest animal in society: the rat. Accompanied by reproduction images taken during the festival, showing this work installed in the original location where Banksy placed it.

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