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Mosquito, 2002


Mosquito, 2002
Spray-paint and emulsion on perforated card, mounted on board
80×90 cm (31 1/2 x 35 3/8 inches)
Stenciled-signed “BANKSY”, lower right
Sotheby’s London: 9 March 2017
GBP 93,750

The present work was executed by Banksy at an event held in Japan in 2002.
In this work, a mosquito with large wings and a gas mask is represented against a mosaic-like montage of Queen Elizabeth’s portrait with the same gas mask against her face. This image of the Queen is the same Banksy used for his provocative and controversial Monkey Queen artwork executed in 2003.
The stenciled mosquito is painted as a flying combatant in action, swooping down to attack, however the image simultaneously strikes as ironic and anachronistic: the gas mask covers the insect’s bloodsucking head, disabling it from actually hurting anybody.
Mosquito is a brilliant example of Banksy’s criticism of authority, violence and militarism. A large part of Banksy’s street art pieces, screen prints and canvas mock militarism so as to denounce the trivialization of violence.
These artworks directly call out the role of governments and authorities in glorifying and popularizing violence, as well as the involvement of “big money” and the capitalist machine in such military operations. Animals like the mosquito appear often throughout Banksy’s images to address various social issues. They usually symbolize the working class and the suffering masses vis-à-vis the elite and authorities.

Mosquito, 2003
Acrylic and spray paint stencil on canvas
25.4 x 30.3 cm (10 x 11 7/8 inches)
Stenciled with the artist’s name on the overlap
Dated 2003 and numbered 2/25 on the reverse
Sotheby’s London: 6 October 2018
GBP 106,250

Banksy also realized an edition on canvas with the legendary mosquito with his gas mask.