Love Rat by Banksy

In Banksy’s Love Rat piece, first discovered in Liverpool, UK, is simple enough. It features a rat holding a red paintbrush in his two little paws, and on the wall, he has drawn a heart. The heart is dripping with red paint (bleeding?), probably due to the rat’s unsteady paws, but it is bold and complete. In this image, people see a city rat that stands for love, and perhaps they see themselves.

Created

2004

Presentation

edition of 600

Size

19×13

Medium

screenprint

Genre

urban

Description

Love Rat by Banksy

Drawing inspiration from French graffiti artist Blek le Rat, Banksy began his career stenciling rats across the streets of England, combined with phrases such as “Our Time Will Come”.  Banksy’s rats have been interpreted as a symbol for the regenerative nature of street art. An anagram of the word ‘art’, the ‘rat’ along with the monkey is an allegorical tool used by Banksy in his criticism of the human race and society. His animals are often given human characteristics and are placed in unusual or comical situations.

“If you feel dirty, insignificant or unloved, then rats are a good role model. They exist without permission, they have no respect for the hierarchy of society, and they have sex 50 times a day.” – Banksy

The rat is also a symbol of Banksy himself, often being chased and hunted down by the authorities, and they also tend to appear at nighttime. In his book “Wall and Piece” from 2005, Banksy claims that rats “exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.”

About the Artist:

Arguably the most controversial street artist in the world, Banksy has developed an entire art subculture devoted to his works. Banksy’s art can impact any location at any given moment. His identity remains unknown, even after over 20 years of being involved with the graffiti scene. He has worked with many different types of street art media and street art types. His work not only includes many powerful, often controversial images, but they may also be found throughout the Internet as viral images.

Banksy’s artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world. Bansky’s artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. His work regularly engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy, and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is known for his installation artwork. One of the most celebrated of these pieces, which featured a live elephant painted with a Victorian wallpaper pattern, sparked controversy among animal rights activists. He was the subject of a 2010 documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which examined the relationship between commercial and street art

His artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world. Bansky’s artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. His work regularly engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy, and greed.

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