‘Laugh Now’ by Banksy (after), 2021
First commissioned by the Ocean Rooms nightclub on Morley Street in the early 2000's in Brighton, England.
Originally released as a print by Pictures on Walls in 2003.
19.75 x 27.5 Inches
Screen print on thick, textured 300gsm fine art paper.
Limited Edition of 500 (#33/500)
A professionally printed, precise replica made to exacting quality based on the original edition by Pictures on Walls in 2003.
Same dimensions and same edition numbers.
Also each is appropriately stamped “Banksy” in red on the reverse.
*Note: This is a premium REPLICA print using the highest quality materials for fans/collectors who simply can't afford the real thing!
ABOUT THE ART
Now a well-known motif, Laugh Now, one of Banksy’s early works, was first commissioned by the Ocean Rooms nightclub on Morley Street in Brighton. It was originally a six-metre long spray painted mural, with the figure of the monkey repeated ten times in a row to form a backdrop to the Brighton bar.
In 2003 the piece was also released as 150 signed and 600 unsigned edition prints, along with 69 artist's proofs. In 2008, Ocean Rooms sold the painting at Bonham’s for what was then a record auction price of nearly half a million dollars. Today, Laugh Now is one of Banksy’s most internationally recognised works.
Laugh Now is rendered in Banksy’s signature monochrome stencilled style. It portrays a forlorn monkey, wearing a sandwich board bearing the words “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge”. The heavy board, along with the monkey’s slumped shoulders and sunken eyes suggest that he is oppressed or enslaved.
Along with the rat, the monkey is one of Banksy’s most frequently used animal characters. Satirising the nature of humankind, Banksy uses these animals as didactic figures in his critical social commentary. The catchphrase on the board is also typical of those often used by the artist to convey powerful or poignant messages to his audience.
Laugh Now could also be seen as a criticism of the way that humans have been treating animals, in particular our primate cousins, throughout the course of history to this day, whether poaching or capturing them for entertainment or medical testing. The provocative text on the board is both mocking and threatening, clearly suggesting that the character is preparing for an uprising, as if Banksy is warning his viewers of an imminent revolution.