The Sale Ends print is also known as Sale Ends Today, a slogan featured on the work itself.
The Sale Ends screenprint of 2005 taken in question inspired the creation of a similar work, entitled Sale Ends and produced in 2006 for the Barely Legal set. The print has the same structure but differs in the number of figures as 4 figures appear instead of 5 in Sale Ends of 2006.
In 2017 the artist has released this year’s Sale Ends Today: the silkscreen of 2017 of Banksy, Sale Ends V2, described in the following paragraphs is the identical reproduction of the work in 2005. In the Sale Ends silkscreen, Banksy depicts five tormented human figures prostrating themselves under a red sign with the words “ SALE ENDS TODAY ”.
This group is made up of five figures with an undefined identity, two women on the left and three men on the right, wearing draped clothes characterized by soft folds. The composition of the bodies is made according to the typical style of Street Art : the black and white stencil gives volume to the figures, giving a three-dimensional effect. The subjects in mourning for the closure of the sales are inspired by the characters of the Gospel, convulsed and grieving at the foot of the Cross.
The pained expressions of the face and the composition of their bodies are typical features of classical iconography. At the heart of the Sale Ends Today print, Banksy prefers to place a bright red sign rather than the traditional Jesus Christ found in traditional iconography.
The Sale Ends Today writing is the only colored element of the print: for the realization of this Banksy is inspired by the colorful and captivating shop signs, designed to capture the attention of passers-by. The white capital letters make up the phrase “ SALE ENDS TODAY ” which stands out from the red sign.
The meaning of Banksy’s Sale Ends Today is expressed in a critique of the consumerism of today’s society with immediate images. The outstretched arms of the human figures rise towards the sign, forming the sides of an imaginary pyramid. The base is made up of an irregular asphalt, similar to quicksand, which slowly sucks up the kneeling subjects. At the top of the pyramid is the reason for so much despair: the sign announces the end of sales for today.
We all buy things that we don’t really need so Banksy unleashes his cutting and satirical genius, critically denouncing modern consumerism. Through the union of Renaissance icons and effective slogans, Banksy examines today’s consumerism, the state of the art and its exposure in society. In fact, his analysis of our materialistic society is expressed through an almost religious fervor with which the whole world looks at the true idol: consumerism .