The meaning behind Banksy’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ – Explained

Banksy’s Pulp Fiction is an ode to the cult 1994 American neo-noir, dark comedy crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The mural was painted above London’s Old Street tube station in 2002. It reimagined a scene from Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic, Pulp Fiction. In the movie still, the lead characters Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega, played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, respectively, are seen pointing firearms at an off-screen character.

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers”.

Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

However, in Banksy’s adaptation, the characters point bright yellow bananas instead. Unfortunately, the mural was erased by Transport for London in 2007 due to concerns about the deterioration of society instead of appreciating its creativity, humour and anti-guns message.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is banksy-banana-1024x640.jpg
The work portrays John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in their roles of Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield.

In 2007, a local artist spray-painted the words “Come Back” in the place of the Banksy mural that was erased. This act of defiance and admiration inspired Banksy to return and create something new. This time, Banksy dressed John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in banana costumes from his original adaptation of the Pulp Fiction scene into the new version featuring accurate pistols. It was a great tribute to the original artwork, showcasing Banksy’s creativity and sense of humour.

In January 2007, this piece was written over by Ozone, a graffiti artist, who left a message saying he would leave it if it was better next time. A few days later, Ozone and another artist named Wants passed away after being hit by an underground train in Barking, East London. In honour of the two young graffiti artists, Banksy created a new mural featuring an angel holding a skull in its right hand and wearing a bulletproof vest.

Banksy released screen prints of Pulp Fiction in 2004, two years after the original mural was created, as a signed and unsigned edition.

Banksy Pulp Fiction 2004

Medium: Screenprint in colours on wove paper
Size: 70×50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches)
Signed Edition: 150 Unsigned Edition: 600 Artist’s Proofs: 8 stretched

Publisher: Pictures on Walls

Get in touch with us today if you are interested in purchasing Banksy’s Pulp Fiction for your art collection. You can find the iconic unsigned screen print in our store here and other Banksy artworks in our collection here. Our team is always happy to help in any way we can, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance during the purchase process.



Share your comments