Title: Applause (Unsigned)
Size: 76 x 114cm
Medium: Screen Print on paper
Edition of 350
Applause differs from the rest of the Banksy artworks in the limited edition Barely Legal print set because of its size. Whereas the other five prints in the set measure approximately 76 cm x 56 cm, Applause measures 76 cm x 114 cm. It is also the most detailed screen print in the Barely Legal print set, resembling a detailed sketch rather than a stencil. Banksy used a well-known source image of former American President George W. Bush de-planing a military bomber. A figure in the foreground holds up a cue card with the word “APPLAUSE” emblazoned across it, as if to say, “You are expected to act like this man who sent your country to war is a hero, so act like it.” The viewer becomes a participant in an absurd talk show where pointless and perhaps even egregious activities are applauded simply because someone told them it was the appropriate time to do so. Bansky’s friend and fellow graffiti writer Shepard Fairey explained the artwork by saying “These things are ridiculous and we should recognize them as ridiculous.”
Banksy’s Applause was also created as a painting on canvas at the Barely Legal exhibition. After Modern Multiples printed the original editions of 100 for Barely Legal, POW took over and released an additional edition of 650 urban art prints for sale, with 100 signed.