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Christ With Shopping Bags, 2004


Christ with Shopping Bags, 2004

Medium: Unknown
Dimensions: Unknown

Christ with Shopping Bags, also known as CWSB, portrays the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, yet Banksy has removed the structure of the cross from the iconic scene. Jesus Christ is holding shopping bags, carefully wrapped with red ribbons, and seeping with black blood. The viewer can glimpse Christmas presents such as candy cane and Mickey Mouse. The image is undoubtedly meant as a satire on modern commercialism, pointing a finger at the hypocrisy of modern celebration.
The intrusion of consumerism and modern commercialism in the hands of Jesus Christ evokes a sense of unease. Furthermore, Jesus Christ appears in pain, weighed down by the shopping bags, symbolizing the damage consumerism has on the original values of Christianity such as charity, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. Banksy uses effective motifs such as the melting gifts to suggest the ephemerality of modern Christmas, whilst the crucifixion represents how society has sacrificed happiness for material things, which offer only transitory joy.
The black background and muted colors evoke a sense of foreboding and gloom at the same time reinforcing Banksy’s comment on the superficiality of modern Christmas in this clever composition. Unusually for Banksy, this striking visual was never shown on the street, and its relatively low edition size places it in high demand.
Walled Off Hotel, Jerusalem
It is not the only time that Banksy uses the image of Jesus Christ to make a point… Another very provocative artwork was shown at the Walled Off Hotel together with drones to illustrate the artist’s anti-war position…
Banksy released a rare print in 2004 with this striking stencil.
Christ with Shopping Bags, 2004
Screen-print in colors on wove paper
70×50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches)
Edition: 82 signed