Heavy Weaponry, 1998
Spray-paint on MDF board
50.5 x 52.5 cm (19 7/8 x 20 11/16 inches)
Bonhams London: 30 June 2010
GBP 38,400 / USD 52,920
Severnshed, Bristol, 2000
This work is believed to be one of the first Heavy Weaponry Banksy ever realized.
Heavy Weaponry is one of Banksy’s iconic visuals. It depicts a singular elephant made in Banksy’s recognizable stencil style with a rocket strapped to its back, hence the double-entendre in the witty title. The entire composition consists of a minimally depicted animal simply strolling forward, heavy with irony. The image of the elephant bearing a rocket on its back carries various interpretations; presumably the general message is anti-military, in line with Banksy’s other works using similar imagery.
Using the elephant as a symbol resonates with other famous Banksy works featuring various animals that represent ordinary people or the ‘masses’ vis-a-vis the establishment and the military-industrialist complex.