Gangster Rat

Like This Banksy Print?

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In 2006, a graffiti featuring Banksys signature gangster rat icon was found painted on a corner of Moorfields Eye Hospital which is on Londons City Road. Upon discovery of the piece, the institution’s management immediately covered it up to protect this valuable piece of street art from theft or damage. Four years later, they put it up for auction during the Saatchi Gallerys The Art of Giving” event. The proceeds were to go into research for the treatment of eye diseases.

The piece depicts a black and white rat standing upright. A medallion can be seen on its chest. On the rats left hand is a microphone and beside its head is a large exclamation point. It appears to be wearing a cap similar to those commonly used in tennis where the top of the head is left uncovered. The rat appears to have a surprised expression on its face as if it were caught in the act of doing something humans do not quite expect from a rat. It is as if the person the rat is looking at also has the same expression on his or her face.

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