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Heavy Weaponry, 2003


Heavy Weaponry, 2003
Edition: 25
Spray-paint on canvas
25.4 x 30.3 cm (10×12 inches)
Stenciled “BANKSY” in red spray paint on the lateral edge
Further dated and numbered on the stretcher
Some elephants are walking towards the right, others towards the left

Heavy Weaponry depicts a singular elephant made in Banksy’s recognizable stencil style with a rocket strapped to its back. 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.
This version of Heavy Weaponry is filled with a variety of symbols and motifs that have recurred throughout the Bristol-born artist’s practice: an oversize barcode, and his signature elephant backpacking a missile. As was the case with the first edition of Heavy Weaponry, the piece is charged with a not so thinly veiled “anti-war” sentiment, openly questioning and criticizing the commoditization of military engagement.

Auction Results

This particular version of Heavy Weaponry sold 10 times at public auction since 2007.
It last sold at Christie’s online on 1 April 2021 for 275,000 GBP (USD 382,250).
It previously sold at Sotheby’s London, on 8 October 2020, for GBP 315,000 (USD 412,303).
It had sold previously at Sotheby’s London on 19 September 2019 for GBP 125,000; and at Phillips London on 15 October 2015 for GBP 37,500.
Heavy Weaponry, 2004
Spray paint on canvas
Stenciled with the BANKSY tag in red on the overlap
Numbered 12/25 on the stretcher
Christie’s online, 1 April 2021

GBP 275,000 / USD 382,250

Heavy Weaponry, 2003
Stenciled with the artist’s name on the overturn edge
Dated 2003 and numbered 7/25 on the stretcher
Sotheby’s London, 22 October 2020
GBP 315,000 / USD 412,303