Banksy’s Strawberry Donuts
About Strawberry Donuts
The first notable fact about Banksy’s Strawberry Donuts is that it isn’t a graffiti project, but done on canvas, and canvas alone. This is unlike most of his other works, which have several versions and make reincarnations as prints, canvas work and public art in the form of graffiti.
The piece depicts an incredibly large and almost monumental donut being carried on a truck, which is escorted by five police officers on motorcycles in the form of a security convoy. The donut is the only coloured visual element in the entire composition, which is a signature artistic device of Banksy.
What does it mean?
Truth be told, this piece could very easily be a rare and genuinely humorous gesture from Banksy for his audience amidst a portfolio brimming with thought-provoking, intense and shocking (and sometimes controversial) works. Banksy is also known to have a very unique and intriguing sense of humour.
However, there are more cerebral interpretations to be made. In Strawberry Donuts, Banksy is also showing us the world we live in, where even something as innocent and harmless as a donut is surrounding by and prey to authority, militarism and control. We need to remember that a donut is after all a commodity. Commodities create capital. In addition, Banksy’s art, as well as his philosophy, is profoundly and blatantly anti-capitalist, anti-war and against the authorities that be. So in this work, Banksy illustrates for us in a brilliant and humorous manner, the relationship between capitalism and militarism, or what could be called the military-industrial complex. He is saying, for you this might be a donut, a delicious and cute piece of confectionery, but for the capitalist, it is a commodity and just as much a part of the military-industrial complex as napalm and pesticides.
What are your thoughts?
This may seem like a far stretch but since you never know with Banksy, it’s worth expressing. Banksy might actually be presenting for us a post-apocalyptic future where the humble donut has become a symbol of better times or the halcyon days of humanity and here it is being escorted by security as a precious relic. Banksy could be showing us a dystopian future where donuts might not exist at all and perhaps just a monument of a donut is all there will be. Some might think of this as a dark and cynical take on an otherwise humorously viewed work, but Banksy does leave us looking for more in this piece because of the visual elements he chooses and their symbolism in artistic imagination.
Specialists in Banksy prints and urban art, Contemporary Art Trader can help you find your very own, authentic Strawberry Donuts, signed or unsigned. For any queries you may have, contact us today.