Grin Reaper (Signed) – Banksy

Title: Grin Reaper (Signed)
Year: 2005
Medium: Screen Print on paper
Size: 70 × 44 cm (28 × 16.9 in)
Edition of 300

Signed and Numbered by the Artist
Pest Control Certificate Included

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Banksy’s Grin Reaper sits hunched over the face of the London Tower clock with his symbolic scythe in hand and his bare, skeleton feet swinging over the clock’s hands. The clock’s hands are at 5 minutes from midnight. Although the clock and Reaper are printed only in black and white on a gray background, the black cloak of the reaper is printed in an extremely painterly manner that makes the print look like a hand-drawn artwork.

The strangest part of the image is the face of the Grin Reaper, appropriately a pun on the classic “Grim Reaper” because the visage is a flat yellow “Smiley” icon. The bright, simply-drawn Smiley presents such a childlike design of contentment that it is ripe for subversion, having been associated with both the acceptance and vilification of 1960s/1970s peace ideals and 1980s/1990s acid house culture (not to mention hundreds of other positive and negative pop culture appropriations). Here the symbolism is clearly negative, signaling the placid, unbiased face of death as it waits for the hour to strike upon its unpreventable killing job. Grin Reaper is a haunting image that is at once friendly and sinister.

In addition to his iconic murals, the elusive urban artist has also released prints in a number of formats. His talent and mysterious identity has made the popularity of his pieces soar and, consequently, they are in incredibly high demand in the art world. Explore the Banksy original art we have for sale here at ArtLife.