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Overview of Banksy Prints

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Overview of Banksy Prints

 

 

In conjunction with his Originals and Murals, Prints play an integral role in Banksy’s artistic expression and development. In fact, it could be argued that it would be impossible to fully comprehend and appreciate him as an artist without understanding the importance of his printed works since so many of them were directly inspired by, paid homage to, or furthered various themes and topics addressed in Originals or Murals. Prints were also for Banksy a way to make his art accessible to all. The artist has always been keen to make release prices accessible, even today (relatively speaking), and he always tried to release them in such a way that most would have the opportunity to purchase, irrespective of their social status or net worth…

INTRODUCTION

 

Between 2002 and 2010, Banksy released 47 original prints to the public.

Most of his early printed editions were offered in unsigned and signed versions. At the time, he typically charged a £50 premium for the signed version – and prints took days to sell out! Over time, he began to experiment by producing various colorways of the same image and shifted away from producing any unsigned works. For all printed editions, a small number of Artist Proofs (APs) were produced, though there is no tremendous clarity with respect to the exact number that were made for each run, as many of these were not numbered but instead simply marked as an “AP”.

 

 

To date and in total, there would be around 29,000 Banksy prints in “circulation”.
Although that may sound like a great many number of prints, the reality of the matter is that there are likely far fewer in existence and in circulation today due to several factors. First and foremost, the vast majority of these were produced nearly 20 years ago. It is also worth mentioning that, at the time they were produced, Banksy did not have a global following, and screen prints were designed to be affordable in order to reach a wider public. Not surprisingly, they were often treated as such – certainly nobody could have predicted the sums these would fetch decades later. It was not uncommon at the time to tack them directly onto the wall to avoid the cost and hassle of framing the piece…
 
Yet another factor to consider is that the street art scene was significantly less appreciated than it is today. Furthermore, the early 2000’s would still be considered “early innings” in the e-commerce world, and the online shopping experience was not nearly as commonplace then as it is today. People were not nearly as accustomed to and familiar with purchasing art online. When all of these factors are put together, it becomes increasingly clear that many of the prints have been lost to the passage of time – most especially his earlier works.
 
Banksy prints have been published and printed by Pictures on Walls (POW). POW was funded in 2003 by a group of artists who decided to produce and distribute their own art directly to the wide public. With the development of internet, they could deliver artworks directly to their buyers. Many POW prints have become benchmarks within the industry, also through innovative production methods. POW has remained an independent artist-run operation until it closed down in 2017, hosting landmark exhibitions and pioneering the concept of a shit pop-up shop long before it became fashionable.
POW was the only point of sale for all Banksy prints until 2017.

 

Banksy also released various VIP and Gift Prints in low editions over the years

Some of these were new imagery (as was the case with Love Hurts and Dumbo), while other VIP and Gift prints were simply made in different colorways not released to the public (Choose Your Weapon and NOLA, for example). Still there were others that were identical to the main edition of his printed works that were not numbered and were produced “outside the edition” to be given away to friends and family.
It is worth underlining that Gift Prints do not receive Certificates of Authenticity from Pest Control Office.

We present below an overview of Banksy Prints by their release year. A more comprehensive description is provided within the Banksy Catalogue section. Some colorways, and various rare and gift prints are not shown below.

If you click on the title of each print, it will bring you to the catalogue page.

1. EARLY YEARS 2002-2003


Rude Copper, released in 2002, is considered to be Banksy’s first commercial print. It was released as an edition of 250, of which around 50 were signed, with approximately 30 hand-finished prints in grey or yellow spray-paint.

Rude Copper

Edition: 250 (50 signed), 30 hand-finished

 

2003 is one of the most prolific years for Banksy Prints.
Banksy released 14 different original prints in various edition size.
Bomb Love, Flying Copper, Happy Chopper, Toxic Mary, Laugh Now, Monkey Queen,
Queen Vic, Turf War, Love Is In The Air, HMV Dog, Golf Sale, Have A Nice Day,
Bomb Middle England, Weston Super Mare
 
Those Early Prints comprise some of the most iconic and provocative visuals Banksy shared with the world for the very first time. Most of them come in two versions: a signed edition, and an unsigned edition. Banksy typically only signed the first 50 to 150, depending on the specific edition. It is noted that the numbering was not always an exact science at that early stage of the artist’s career.

 

2003 Banksy Prints

 Number of Prints: 14
Total Impressions: 10,023

Signed Prints: 1,750
Unsigned Prints: 7,750
Special Prints and APs: 523

 

Bomb Love

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 44 signed AP

 

 

Flying Copper

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 63 signed Pink AP, 8 signed Pink Face AP

 

Happy Chopper

Edition: 750 (150 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 33 signed AP

 

Toxic Mary

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Colorways Editions: 3 colorways of 44 signed each

 

Laugh Now

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 69 signed AP

 

Monkey Queen

Edition: 750 (150 signed)

 

Queen Vic

Edition: 500 (50 signed)

 

 

Turf War

Edition: 750 (150 signed)

 

Love Is In The Air

Edition: 500 (50 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 27 signed AP

 

HMV Dog

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned

 

Golf Sale

Edition: 750 (150 signed)

 

Bomb Middle England

Edition: 500 (50 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 31 signed AP

 

Weston Super Mare

Edition: 750 (150 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 18 signed Lime Green AP

 

Have a Nice Day

Edition: 500 (50 signed)
Artist’s Proofs: 31 signed AP
Anarchist Book Fair Edition: 67 signed

 

 

 

2. YEAR 2004


Banksy continued to release prints at a strong pace in 2004, sharing 13 new and original prints with the world.
Girl with Balloon, Barcode, Pulp Fiction, Napalm, I Fought The Law, Christ With Shopping Bags, Gangsta Rat, Love Rat, Welcome To Hell, Get Out While You Can, Because I’m Worthless. 
Most notably, this marked the year that Banksy released the iconic Girl with Balloon, as well a series of Rat prints, including Gangsta Rat, and Love Rat. Banksy also released Barcode, Pulp Fiction, the exceedingly rare Christ with Shopping Bags, as well as two anti-authoritarian appropriations in various alternate colorways as Artist’s Proofs: Napalm and I Fought The Law.

2004 Banksy Prints

Number of Prints: 13
Total Impressions: 6,394

Signed Prints: 1,482
Unsigned Prints: 4,275
Colorways (signed): 307
Artist’s Proofs (signed): 330

 

Girl with Balloon

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 88 signed AP

 

Barcode

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned

 

 

Christ With Shopping Bags

Edition: 82 signed

 

Pulp Fiction

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned
Stretched Edition: 8 signed

 

Love Rat

Editions: 150 signed, 600 unsigned

 

 

Napalm

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 27 signed Rainbow AP, 27 signed Orange AP
Serpentine Edition: 50 signed, 29 signed AP

 

 

I Fought The Law

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 32 signed AP (4 colorways), 26 signed Uncut AP

 

Gangsta Rat

Editions: 150 signed, 350 unsigned
Colorways Editions: 257 signed (6 colorways of various edition sizes)
Artist’s Proofs: 61 signed AP (7 colorways)

 

Because I’m Worthless

Editions: 75 signed, 175 unsigned
Some in Red, Some in Pink

 

 

Get Out While You Can

Editions: 75 signed, 175 unsigned
Some in Red, Some in Pink

 

 

Welcome To Hell

Editions: 75 signed, 175 unsigned
Some in Red, Some in Pink

 

 

Radar Rat

Edition: 75 signed (hand-finished)

 

 

Di-Faced Tenners

Edition: 50 signed
Artist’s Proofs: 32 signed Pink AP

 

 

 

3. YEAR 2005


 

Banksy released 6 original prints in 2005.
Police Kids, CND Soldiers, Grin Reaper, Kate Moss, Soup Can, Four Soup Can
700 Police Kids and CND Soldiers were released, of which 350 were signed and 350 were unsigned. Banksy also released an AP edition of 22 signed Pink Police Kids. Grin Reaper was released as a single edition of 300 prints, all of which were signed. With Kate Moss and his series of Soup Cans, Banksy pays a clear homage to Andy Warhol.

2005 Banksy Prints

Number of Prints: 6
Total Impressions: 2,574

Signed Prints: 1,154
Unsigned Prints: 950
Colorways (signed): 436
Artist’s Proofs (signed): 34

Police Kids

Editions: 350 signed, 350 unsigned
Artist’s Proofs: 22 signed Pink AP

 

 

CND Soldiers

Editions: 350 signed, 350 unsigned

 

 

Grin Reaper

Edition: 300 signed

 

 

Kate Moss

Edition: 50 signed
Colorway Editions: 6 colorways of 20 signed each

 

Soup Can

Editions: 50 signed, 250 unsigned
Colorway Editions: 280 signed (28 colorways)

 

 

4. YEAR 2006: BARELY LEGAL


Banksy released 6 new, original prints in October 2006 to coincide with the opening of his Barely Legal Exhibit.
Grannies, Applause, Festival, Trolleys, Morons, Sale Ends
Only 100 of the 500 unsigned prints of each edition were printed by Modern Multiples of Los Angeles and sold during the Barely Legal Exhibit. The 400 remaining prints from the unsigned editions of Grannies, Morons and Trolleys were printed by Pictures on Walls in 2007, though there are several slight differences between these and the LA editions.
Neither Festival, nor Sale Ends were printed by Pictures on Walls at this time, however. Sale Ends was eventually released as a Version 2 in 2017, as an edition of 500 signed prints.
Banksy also released 6 signed Printer’s Proofs (PP) for each print. Very few complete sets are still intact.

Banksy Barely Legal Prints 

Number of Prints: 6
Total Impressions: 4,920

Signed Prints: 2,478
Unsigned Prints: 2,200
Colorways (signed): 173
Artist’s Proofs (signed): 69

 

Grannies

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned
Hand-Finished: 11 signed

Applause

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned

Morons (White)

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned

Morons (Sepia)

Edition: 300 signed

Trolleys (White)

Editions: 150 signed, 500 unsigned

Trolleys (Color)

Edition: 750 signed

Sale Ends (LA Edition)

Editions: 150 signed, 100 unsigned

Sale Ends (Version 2)

Edition: 500 signed

5. YEARS 2006-2010


 

Banksy released 7 additional original prints between 2006 and 2010, aside from the ones he released for his Barely Legal show.
 
Flag (2006-2007), Stop and Search (2007), NOLA (2008), Very Little Helps (2008),
No Ball Games (2009), Donut (2009), and Choose Your Weapon (2010)
All of these prints were released exclusively as signed editions, with the exception being Flag (Silver). This print holds the distinction of being the largest editioned print Banksy has ever produced: 1,000 unsigned prints. This is also the only print he has produced that was not numbered on the front of the print (these were numbered on verso).
The paper Banksy chose to print this edition on is particularly noteworthy – the first, and last, time he used Chromalux paper. Collectors know all too well the challenges and difficulties associated with the paper, as fingerprints and the slightest touch leave oils from the hand visible on the paper. It was also remarkably thin and unforgiving paper that is easily damaged. Perhaps more than any of his other prints, this edition is rife with condition issues. It is exceptionally difficult to find a Flag in great condition due to the challenges associated with preserving, and even framing, the print.
Choose Your Weapon was the last original print Banksy released through Pictures on Walls. It also has the most number of unique colorways, as Banksy released 25 signed prints in 17 different colors!
 

Banksy 2006-2010 Prints 

 

Number of Prints: 7
Total Impressions: 4,214

Signed Prints: 1,907
Unsigned Prints: 1,000
Colorways (signed): 1,158
Artist’s Proofs (signed): 149

 

Flag (Silver)

Edition: 1,000 unsigned
Formica Flag (Silver): 20 signed

Flag (Gold)

Edition: 112 signed
Formica Flag (Gold): 23 signed

 

Stop and Search

Edition: 500 signed

 

Very Little Helps

Edition: 299 signed

 

Nola, 2008

White Rain: 289 signed, Grey Rain: 63 signed
Orange Rain: 32 signed, Yellow Rain: 31 signed
Artist’s Proofs: Multi-color Rain, 66 signed AP, 6 colorways

Donut, 2009

Donut (Strawberry): 299 signed
Donut (Chocolate): 299 signed

No Ball Games, 2009

No Ball Games (Grey): 250 signed
No Ball Games (Green); 250 signed

 

Choose Your Weapon, 2010

Grey: 100 signed, Queue Jumper: 58 signed
18 colorways: 25 signed each

6. YEAR 2019: GDP


 

Banksy released two prints with Gross Domestic Product in 2019: Thrower and Banksquiat.

Banksquiat

Banksquiat (Grey): 300 signed
Banksquiat (Black): 300 signed

Thrower

Thrower (Grey): 300 signed

 

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