Acrylic and spray enamel on board
43.8 x 57.7 cm (17 1/4 x 22 3/4 inches)
Signed and dated “BANKSY 13” (on the reverse)
Christie’s New-York: 12 May 2013
Banksy’s satirical, anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-establishment passages cut through the mainstream culture whilst bridging the gap between the street and the traditional art space. One of the main elements of Banksy’s style is its powerful and animated visual rendering. The artist was also deeply committed to depicting the satirical side of contemporary life, and his vision in the present work is amusing but also apocalyptic. Rendered in Banksy’s distinctive combination of spray-painted stencils and printed text, Protect from All Elements is a highly charged image exhibiting a perfect rendering of the anti-war and anti-capitalist ethos which remains constant in the artist’s oeuvre.
The central figure of the elephant seems to have turned lethargic as a missile hovers over its back. By depicting an elephant carrying a missile with precarious wording stamped along the upper and lower edges, Protect from All Elements translates the artist’s empathy of the elephant’s unavoidable predicament into a compelling reality. Using uncompromising subject matter conveyed through the clandestine artist’s iconic duo of images and text, Protect from All Elements retains a startling graphic immediacy which is critically balanced between personal expressionism and environmental activism.