Banksy, ‘Donuts’ (Strawberry)


  • Banksy
  • Donuts (Strawberry)
  • 2009
  • Silk-screen printing on paper
  • 56 cm x 76 cm
  • Certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control
  • Signed edition of 299
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This series of works includes only signed copies: 299 copies of the Strawberry version and 299 copies of the Chocolate version ; there are no copies without signatures.

The first edition was created directly as a screen print for Banksy ‘s 2009 Summer Show at the Bristol City Museum ; therefore it does not come from street graffiti as it happens for other creations. The 598 screen prints were created for an online raffle priced at £465.00 each.

The number of works created for each version is not accidental: 299 are the stores of Krispy Kreme – an American donut company and coffee shop chain – closed due to financial problems in 2007.

Banksy presents an almost absurd scene: five serious and unperturbed policemen gathered in convoy escort a truck used for transporting goods, adorned with a huge and impossible chocolate donut on its roof. No colors appear in the scene, except for the motorcycle lights and the large donut.

According to the analysis of the screen printing, the strawberry donut represents its main role within an American capitalist system and it is easily understood by the fact that it is escorted by the police as a priority.

With Donuts Strawberry Banksy creates a big hoax against law enforcement and the police, who prefer to be comfortable at their desks, perhaps eating a donut and drinking coffee, rather than taking to the streets where their real work is. Obviously the meaning of the work is a satire towards those policemen who prefer to protect what is most dear to them.

Corrupt American militarism is in the sights this time, which falls under the broader theme of anti-capitalism. From the irony of the typical lazy policeman, Banksy comes to denounce the whole American government system, now outdated and no longer in step with the times, which pretends in a presumptuous way to “save” and civilize other nations. In classic Street Art style, Banksy creates Donuts Chocolate to make both great irony and to talk about something deeper and more anguished.

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