Sunflower From Petrol Station

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Banksy has parodied several masterpieces done by great artists. One of these is the remix he did of Vincent van Goghs popular Sunflower series. These were still-life, oil-on-canvas paintings of sunflowers done by the Dutch painter in the late 1800s. Banksys version is called Sunflower from Petrol Station. It first appeared in the guerilla artists Crude Oils exhibition in Notting Hill in 2005.

The piece shows what appears to be a clay vase with an arrangement of wilted sunflowers on top. On the withered leaves and flowers is a bluish tint that looks suspiciously akin to petroleum in an oil spill. Scattered around the base of the vase are what may be construed as dried leaves or droplets of crude oil. The warm yellow background brings out the contrast even further. It emphasizes the irony of what should have been a bright, idyllic image.

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