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Precision Bombing, 2000


Precision Bombing, 2000
Edition: 10
Spray-paint in colors on canvas
43x47cm (16 7/8 x 18 1/2 inches)
Dated and numbered /10 in black marker on the reverse

Precision Bombing depicts a group of men in suits walking towards what seems to be a sports car. The vehicle is being targeted by a green precision range finder and scope. The background of this painting was released in a number of different colors (exact number unknown).​
Precision bombing is a well-defined war strategy referring to the aerial bombing of a target with some degree of accuracy, with the aim of maximizing target damage and limiting collateral damage. Precision bombing was initially tried during World War I, however it was found to be ineffective because the technology at the time did not allow for sufficient accuracy. Since World War I, the development and adoption of various types of guided munitions has greatly increased the accuracy of aerial bombing. Because the accuracy achieved in bombing is dependent on the available technology, the “precision” of precision bombing is relative to the time period. Precision has always been recognized as an important attribute of weapon development. Obviously, the consequence that Banksy underlines is that it becomes a game played at a safe distance, participating to the trivialization of warfare.
As a recurring theme in Banksy‘s oeuvre, this work makes reference to war and violence, as well as the constant sense of paranoia in which nobody can be trusted. If the men in suits are to be viewed as politicians or perhaps simply “men of power,” this work makes a pointed statement about the hypocrisy prevalent in elite circles of power and money.​ It might also be viewed as ironic that the very methods by which these men seek to eliminate threats would be used against them. Precision Bombing was exhibited for the first time at Severnshed, Banksy’s first exhibit in his hometown of Bristol.

Auction Results

Precision Bombing only sold 4 times at auction since 2008. It last sold at Sotheby’s London, on 13 October 2012 for GBP 21,250 (USD 34,147).
Precision Bombing, 2000
Tagged; dated 2000 and numbered 5/10 on the backing board
Spray-paint stencil on canvas mounted on board
Sotheby’s London, 13 October 2012
GBP 21,250 / USD 34,147

Precision Bombing, 2000
Acrylic and spray-paint on canvas
42×47 cm (16 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches
Tagged; dated 2000 and numbered 2/10 on the overlap
Sotheby’s London: 16 February 2011
GBP 39,650

Bristol, Severnshed, Banksy: New Paintings, Photographs, Graffiti, 2000


Precision Bombing (Green), 2000
Spray-paint and acrylic on canvas

Tagged; dated 2000 and numbered 3/10 on the backing board
Police Evidence tag attached to the stretcher
Sotheby’s New-York, 10 November 2010
USD 74,500