BANKSY - Monkey Queen

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Unsigned limited edition (750) screenprint with COA from Pest Control.

Monkey Queen is a provocative screen print that was created in 2003 as part of an edition of 600 unsigned prints and only 150 signed prints. However, it was first publicly displayed as a wall painting at a youth club called The Chill Out Zone on Broad Street in Newent, where it remained on the wall of the club for several months before being moved to the front window. This made headlines, referred to in the news as “Banksygate”, following complaints that the painting was disrespectful to the monarchy and to the national flag. The youth club was asked by the government not to display this image during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and its funding was cut. This raised issues regarding the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression and the youth leaders at The Chill Out Zone eventually replaced the painting with a more mainstream poster of the Union Jack.

Whether plastering cities with his trademark parachuting rat, painting imagined openings in the West Bank barrier in Israel, or stenciling “We’re bored of fish” above a penguins’ zoo enclosure, Banksy creates street art with an irreverent wit and an international reputation that precedes his anonymous identity. Banksy has gained his notoriety through a range of urban interventions, from modifying street signs and printing his own currency to illegally hanging his own works in institutions such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art. Most often using spray paint and stencils, Banksy has crafted a signature, immediately identifiable graphic style—and a recurring cast of cops, soldiers, children, and celebrities—through which he critically examines contemporary issues of consumerism, political authority, terrorism, and the status of art and its display.