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Girl with Ice Cream on Palette, 2004


Girl with Ice Cream on Palette, 2004
Spray-paint and emulsion on wood
59.7 x 50 cm (23 1/2 x 19 11/16 inches)
Tagged, signed and dedicated on the reverse
Bonhams London: 24 March 2021
GBP 1,102,750 / USD 1,511,886

Girl with Ice Cream on Palette from 2004 is a rare example of Banksy‘s stenciling style on found material which is not only entirely fresh to the market but also depicts one of the most playful and memorable images from his oeuvre, which first appeared at his major breakthrough exhibition Turf War in 2003.
Not one to shy away from dark humor and pointed irony, Banksy takes a subject that evokes the fragility and innocence of childhood: a young girl resplendent in her polka-dot dress, her hair tied in plaits with a bow, gleefully holding an ice cream cone. That the cone contains a fizzing stick of dynamite, however, is Banksy‘s dramatic punchline and typifies the flavor of his humor; a poignant reflection by the artist on the inevitable disillusionment that accompanies ageing and possible hopes for the future. In common with many of Banksy‘s most successful works, Girl with Ice Cream on Palette intends to shock, yet it also aims to engender thought provoking discourse within a broader socio-political context.

Girl with Ice Cream Bomb, Brighton, 2004
Banksy has repeatedly returned to the motif of childhood in his work, most notably in his Girl with Balloon, that appeared on walls in London for the first time in 2002 and was later used in support of social media campaigns such as Stand with Syria in 2014. These images represent a powerful symbol of lost innocence, Banksy reportedly having remarked that parents would do anything for children these days except from letting them be themselves. His deployment of satire as a tool for social commentary is always as funny as it is affecting, and his works bring into question the principles of a culture whose power structures will leave much in the way of financial, environmental, and social reparations to a younger generation.
Jack and Jill, 2005
Screen-print in colors on wove paper
50×70 cm
Editions: 350 signed, 350 unsigned
He explores this notion further in his Jack and Jill edition print of 2005. The carefree smiles of the children and their easily distinguishable childhood attire are juxtaposed with the bulletproof police vests that encase their slight frames; a sardonic meditation by Banksy on the internalization of discipline and the stolen innocence of youth, perhaps evocative of Foucault’s theory of the internalization of discipline.