Acrylic and spray-paint stencil on canvas
25.4 x 30.3 cm (10×12 inches)
Dated and numbered /25 on the reverse
Stenciled “BANKSY” in red spray paint on the lateral edge
Mosquito presents a very simple two-colored image with a stenciled mosquito styled as a military force with large wings and a gas mask, against a white background with red stars.
It is painted as a flying combatant in action, swooping down to attack any human that might get in his way. However, in a very ironic turn, if a gas mask covered the insect’s head, it would actually prevent it from hurting anybody, or from receiving the blood it needs to survive.
Spray-paint and emulsion on perforated card, mounted on board
Mosquito is a play on the perception of the blood-sucking insect which exists in the human mind. It seems perhaps, in this case, it is the mosquito who needs protection from human beings. Banksy often uses various animals, such as monkeys and rats to address social issues. Often these animals, especially if associated with being ”pests” or unwanted rodents like rats, are symbols of the working class, and/or of the fate of the street artist in modern society.
Another version of this work depicting the mosquito against a mosaic-like montage of Queen Elizabeth’s portrait with the same gas mask against her face was created in 2002 with spray paint and emulsion on perforated. This image of the queen is the same Banksy used for his provocative and controversial Monkey Queen artwork executed in 2003.
Mosquito only sold once at auction since 2008.
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 / USD 138,380