Banksy, ‘Golf Sale’


  • Banksy
  • Golf Sale
  • 2003
  • Screenprint on paper
  • 49.2 cm x 34.5 cm
  • Certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control
  • Numbered edition of 750
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This is among Banksy’s best-known subjects with the work is inspired by the infamous photograph of the Chinese demonstrator in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In the original, the student stood alone, firmly, against the advance of four army tanks. Banksy transforms this icon of political struggle into a biting and ironic satire: the man holds a sign with the words “golf goes up” and an arrow pointing to the right, as to underline the futility of violence and war.

The protest against the war is one of the most important components of Banksy’s art and his other works such as Golf Sale and Bomb Hugger are perfect examples of this; they show how the artist has been able to carefully use irony and sarcasm to highlight the senselessness of war and violence.

Through his works, Banksy has thus been able to create pungent provocations with a simple but effective style which has allowed him to transmit strong and politically uncomfortable messages to his audience. Golf Sale takes up the aforementioned photograph of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, immediately bringing to the viewer’s mind a shot that has now become an icon of the struggle for civil rights. The episode brings with it the memory of a violence that had turned into a real massacre, when the tanks indistinctly opened fire on the demonstrators. 

With Golf Sale Banksy suggests with irony how physical violence towards an ideal is both vain and useless, like shooting golf balls into an enemy field. As often happens with Banksy, known as a graffiti artist, but also an artist who works in the studio, the subject of this pungent work makes its first appearance in the streets of Bristol as graffiti and only later was the limited edition on paper created.

With Banksy street art and works created in the studio reach their equilibrium: from the urban intervention, on the city walls, the artist then realizes screenprints with his iconic stencil. His works can thus circulate among the public and also reach the viewer otherwise unable to admire the original.

The limited edition screen printing proposed by us was made in 2003 and is part of a limited edition of 750 copies worldwide, of which only 150 bear the artist’s signature.

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