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Heavy Weaponry (2), 2002


Heavy Weaponry, 2002
Acrylic and spray enamel on canvas
45.6 x 53 cm (18 x 20 7/8 inches)
From a series, unique in this format
Stenciled-signed “BANKSY” lower right
Christie’s London: 1 July 2008
GBP 34,850

Heavy Weaponry 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 artist’s signature is visible in the bottom right-hand corner rendered in light grey stenciled capital letters.
The general message is obviously 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.

Variations Sold at Auction

Heavy Weaponry over Radar, 2002
Stencil spray-paint on cardboard
75×55 cm (29 1/2 x 25 5/8 inches)
Stenciled “BANKSY” with a bardcode lower right
Digard Auction: 11 June 2014
EUR 109,968 / USD 148,806
Heavy Weaponry over Radar is mixing two Banksy’s iconic images: Heavy Weaponry and Radar Rat. The artist spray painted an elephant with a rocket strapped to its back over the coral-red spiral seen in the background of Radar Rat. It could be perceived as an anti-military statement by the artist, formulated through this satirical, over-exaggerated image., in what seems to be a comment on the ever-increasing presence of surveillance equipment in cities such as London.