Banksy remained faithful to his urban art origins in this work using the street artist's stencil to duplicate the central image. This multiplication is deliberately evocative of the work of Andy Warhol, whose repeated portraits of world-famous celebrities from Jackie Kennedy to Elvis Presley initiated the global phenomenon that was Pop Art and has continued to influence global visual culture ever since. The three-by-three compositional arrangement of nine heads directly recalls Warhol's 'Mao' and 'Marilyn' reversal series in which nine representations appeared in a similar grid format.
The infamous bass guitarist and vocalist of the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious embodied the Punk subculture of his age. Characterised by its anti-establishment views and concern for individual freedom, Punk was an aggressively modern expression of freedom that opposed the desensitised apathy of mass-produced popular music and culture. In the present work, Banksy brilliantly re-presents the literal personification of Punk in Warhol's instantly recognisable dialect of Pop Art. The resolute individuality that is at the heart of the Punk ethos is perfectly satirised by the multiplication of such an iconic figure of the movement. Banksy’s homage to Warhol, exchanging the diamond dust which Warhol added to further the glamour and glitzy celebrity status of his subjects with glitter from a pound shop, highlights the fine line between what is real and what is unreal in the celebrity world. At the same time, however, Banksy's ultimate belief in individuality and freedom of expression resolutely prevails.
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