'Smurf War Church-ill' by Banksy (after), 2014
Art figure based on Banksy's 'Turf War' print - influenced by an anonymous vandal who defaced Churchill’s statue at Parliament Square during the May Day riots back in year 2000.
16 Inches (figure)
12 x 17.5 x 12 Inches (box)
Rotocast Vinyl sculpture in smurf blue.
Limited Edition of only 77 (Sold Out).
Comes in original box.
ABOUT THE ART
Banksy’s Turf War reproduces a famous portrait of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill with a slight difference; instead of a bald head, Churchill is painted with a green mohican. The screen print was first seen in 2003 at Banksy’s ‘Turf War’ solo exhibition – which took place in a secret location in East London – where the original painting was suspended from the ceiling and surrounded by the artist’s famous Flying Coppers spray-painted on cardboard. The Turf War screenprints were released shortly after the exhibition by Pictures on Walls as an edition of just 150 Turf War signed prints and 600 unsigned prints.
The original portrait of Churchill, known as ‘The Roaring Lion’, was taken by Armenian-Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh in the chamber of the Speaker of the House of Commons in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on December 30, 1941, after Churchill delivered a speech on World War II. Considered to be one of the 20th century’s most significant political figures, Winston Churchill is best remembered for his wartime triumphs rather than his messy dealings with colonialism.
In Turf War, Banksy reimagines Winston Churchill as a punk rocker with a bright green strip of hair resembling a mohawk but also a piece of turf. Painted in Banksy’s typical black and white stencil style on a white background, the portrait is monochromatic, like Karsh’s original photograph, apart from the green strip of hair. Churchill shows the same determined smile and ferocious look as in Karsh’s photograph, which earned him the nicknames ‘the British bulldog’ and ‘the roaring lion’ and which perfectly reflect his famous words ‘We shall never surrender’.
Banksy’s use of Karsh’s portrait of Churchill is a reference to the Prime Minister’s leadership during WWII and his persistence through adversity however this is no tribute; here Banksy appears to be denouncing the constant battles for borders and territory that have come to define 20th and 21st century politics at great cost to civilian lives. As he has written in his 2005 book, Wall and Piece, ‘The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.’
ABOUT THE FIGURE
Toykio‘s Selim Varol‘s first release is solid “Smurf” blue with a white mohawk. Smurf War Church-ill! what a crazy mash up, who would of ever thought of combining the two. Smurf War Church-ill a bust of a “punked” Winston Churchill, serves as a commentary on this state of affairs: Under the rule of Britain’s greatest statesman, the nation never lost a war – except against Turkey. The bust is also a homage to British street artist Banksy, who has achieved international recognition with his politically-charged graffiti and who holds a similarly pivotal place in Selim Varol’s collection.
Banksy’s 2003 work, Turf War, is a black and white stencil of Churchill with a green mohawk. His work was influenced by an anonymous vandal who defaced Churchill’s statue at Parliament Square during the May Day riots back in year 2000.
There will be other color variants limited to 20 pieces each including neon yellow and bright pink – hues that perfectly signify the “snootiness in the UK” in tribute to the Sex Pistols album ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ and the general attitude of the British punk band who followed the motto “Anarchy In the UK” and always escaped from accepted norms.