Banksy, Monkey Parliament, 2009. Courtesy of Lougher Contemporary.

Banksy: Monkeys

Monkeys are a recurring motif in Banksy’s provocative and subversive street art. In the world of Banksy, monkeys can be found listening to music on their headphones, acting as stand-ins for Queen Elizabeth II, or preparing to detonate a bomb. Banksy has used monkeys to portray both esteemed and everyday people, drawing parallels between humans and their closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Alongside Banksy’s other oft-repeated subjects—including rats, police, and children—the street artist frequently presents monkeys in ironic juxtapositions, as a critique of power, corruption, and consumerism.

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