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Originally appearing in 2002, Banksys Laugh Now, Sandwich Board-Wearing Monkey sold at a 2008 Bonhams Urban Art sale for nearly $500,000. Stenciled in black and white on boards, Banksy painted ten such monkeys in a row. The monkeys stand upright, as would a human being. While their eyes are not visible, it is clear from the hang of their heads, the slope of their shoulders, the downturned corners of their mouths that these monkeys feel rather downtrodden. The full text of the sign board reads, Laugh now, but one day well be in charge.”
The piece brings to mind the long-standing feud man has had with his fellow primate. Rage, disbelief, and fear that it might be so followed Darwins Theory of Evolution asserting that the ape was mans ancestor. This fear led man to ridicule monkey, disparaging any link between the two species. Used as charming thieves in streets shows, dressed up as organ grinders, these primates were encouraged by the intellectually superior humans to perform demeaning tasks.