One of the newest pieces in the Banksy exhibition Laugh Now is Sid Vicious. This infamous bass guitarist and vocalist of the Sex Pistols embodied the Punk subculture of the ’70’s and ’80’s. Punk was an aggressively modern expression of freedom that opposed the apathy of mass-produced popular music, culture and consumerism. The subculture is characterized by its anti-establishment views and concern for individual freedom. The individuality that is at the heart of the Punk movement is perfectly satirized by Banksy by the repetition of such an iconic figure of the movement.
In this work Banksy clearly refers to the work of Andy Warhol. Sid Vicious has visual link with for example the Marilyn Diptych, where Warhol shows a portrait of Marilyn Monroe in a repetition of 25 screen prints on one canvas. With this repetition Warhol criticizes mass-produced images of pop culture and consumerism.
In Sid Vicious we see that Banksy’s ultimate belief in individuality and freedom of expression prevails.
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