stencil signature on the overlap; signed and dated 04 on the stretcher stencil spray print on canvas
15 3/4 by 15 3/4 in. 40 by 40 cm.
This work is unique in this format.
This work has been authenticated by Pest Control Office.
"Nobody ever listened to me until they didn't know who I was" The artist, in Wall and Piece, p. 13
Banksy's relationship with the media and with the concept of 'celebrity' has always been a complex one. On one hand, he is without a doubt once of the best known artists of the modern age; on the other he remains anonymous, an art world outsider who refuses to play the game. For him, there are no fawning 'the artist at home' interviews or champagne swigging photos on the society pages. It is fair to assume that Banksy has no interest in being famous, despite the fact that he has managed to become just that.
Works like Paparazzi Rat explore this odd dynamic. The media is essential to Banksy's work, allowing the issues that concern him to be disseminated widely. His images on the Israeli West Bank wall and his Guantanamo Bay prisoner installation at Disney reached a global audience almost as soon as they are completed. The media, however, is a double edged sword, and our current obsession with celebrity culture is surely an anathema to Banksy. In 2006 he doctored 500 Paris Hilton CDs and released them back into record shops. Tracks re-titled 'Why I am Famous?' and 'What Am I For?' questioned the nature of celebrity for celebrity's sake.
The rat in the current lot addresses this dichotomy. Usually celebrated as the underdog in the artist's work, here as a camera-wielding rodent it adopts a more sinister role.