“I’d been painting rats for three years before someone said ‘that’s clever it’s an anagram of art’ and I had to pretend I’d known that all along.”
Rats are one of Banksy’s most prolific subjects, and the Placard Rats series are highly desirable and popular Banksy artworks. These three works first appeared as a trilogy in 2004 with 75 signed screen prints and 175 unsigned screen prints each, with red and pink colorways. Banksy has reproduced variations of each of the Placard Rat prints as graffiti art in the streets, and urban art lovers all over the world have imprinted the image on coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters, and their bodies.
Rats are iconic in Banksy street art prints because they are emblematic of street art itself. Rats are also a symbol for the millions of people in the world who face injustice and unfairness in the so-called “rat race.” Banksy wrote this about rats in his 2005 book Wall and Piece: “If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.” Banksy rats reference the so-called father of stencil graffiti, Blek Le Rat. This French stencil artist, who made his name in the 1980s, was similarly fond of rats as subjects because of their massive, if negatively perceived, impact on populations.
Banksy’s Placard Rat series shows an indignant-looking rat holding up a picketing placard. Each of the street art prints has a message written on the placard: “Because I’m Worthless,” “Welcome To Hell,” and “Get Out While You Still Can.” Although the rat wears a necklace bearing a peace sign, he seems to be mentally engaged in a war against his condition.
If you would like to sell your Banksy art, any of the art works in the Placard Rat series are extremely desirable and valuable limited edition urban art prints. If you would like to buy a Banksy Placard Rat screen print, Welcome To Hell, Because I’m Worthless, and Get Out While You Still Can are all part of Banksy’s most desirable theme of rats and will remain in-demand and command rising profits. Hexagon Gallery is the leader for Banksy art sales in the United States. To sell or buy Banksy art, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.