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Ballerina CP/03, 2013


Ballerina CP/03, 2013
Spray-paint on canvas
40.7 x 30.5 cm (16×12 inches)
Signed and numbered “BANKSY CP/03” on the overlap
Phillips Hong-Kong: 26 May 2019
HKD 3,250,000 / USD 414,107
Banksy confronts and disrupts another icon in Ballerina CP/03, where he takes the silhouette of Princess Odette in one of the most prominent ballets composed by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, and transforms the figure into a caricature, all the while retaining the sinister underlying emotions of the character’s inevitable demise.

The grace and poise of the ballerina “en pointe” in an arabesque is at once contrasted with the potentially disquieting text “FRAGILE” overlaid on the canvas rendered in red. Banksy’s use of the instantly-recognizable features of Princess Odette as a visual theme demonstrates his laser-sharp sense of satire.
Using the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse and who is only able to break the spell by finding eternal love, Banksy points to the softness and delicacy of the character and implies that there is often more than what simply meets the eye. As part of the artist’s aesthetic vocabulary, he uses a stencil to create the figure of the ballerina while evidently keeping his style and control through his use of the spray can, applying his graffiti sensibilities on canvas.
As part of the artist’s Better Out Than In residency in 2013, a month-long show that took place in New York City where Banksy unveiled at least one work of art daily, Ballerina CP/03 was one of the authentic signed canvases that sold at a stall in Central Park