The Meaning Behind Banksy’s ‘Grannies’ – Explained

The artwork ‘Grannies’ by Banksy portrays two elderly ladies knitting jumpers and drinking tea, with a picture frame in the background, maybe of their grandchildren. At first glance, the painting might seem like an ordinary depiction of everyday life, but upon closer inspection, it is evident that it conveys a message of rebellion and defiance.

The text on the jumpers the Grannies are knitting are unlikely slogans such as “Punks Not Dead” and “Thug For Life”. The contrast between the scene and the message is humorous and thought-provoking. It challenges viewers to consider their assumptions about older people and their lifestyles. It encourages people to think about the rebellious pasts of the older generation and to consider the importance of passing down acts of defiance like punk and thug culture to future generations. Furthermore, the artwork can also highlight the affection and encouragement that grandparents often show towards their grandchildren.

Banksy has mastered using black-and-white stencils and a block pink background in the artwork. This heightens the humorous contradiction between scene and message and draws attention to the idea that appearances are deceptive. Although they may seem harmless, the older ladies’ sassy declaration of rebellion and resistance speaks volumes: “Once a Rebel, Always a Rebel.”

Banksy’s Grannies print was released in 2006 at his landmark and first US exhibition ‘Barely Legal’ Exhibition in Los Angeles as a six print set by Modern Multiples, which contained Grannies, Trolleys, Morons, Festival, Applause, and Sale Ends. 500 unsigned prints of each series were made, and only 100 were released for the exhibition.

Banksy’s UK-based printer, Pictures On Walls, then released 150 signed prints of Grannies and 11 hand-finished prints, which swops the pink background for red, and the knitted jumpers are shaded in lilac (PUNKS NOT DEAD) and green (THUG FOR LIFE).

Banksy’s Grannies

Year: 2006

Medium: Screenprint in colours on Arches wove paper

Size: 56×76 cm (22×30 inches)

Editions: Signed Edition: 150 : and Unsigned Edition: 500: and Hand-Finished Edition: 11 signed

Please visit our online store to purchase Grannies unsigned and signed, or please contact us, and we will be happy to help you with any questions regarding this rebellious print.



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