The Meaning Behind Banksy’s ‘Trolley Hunters’ – Explained

Banksy’s ‘Trolley Hunter’ was created in 2006 as part of his groundbreaking Barely Legal seminal exhibition in Los Angeles; this work remains a powerful critique of consumerism and its impact on modern society. The original large-scale work on canvas that was exhibited was in colour oil and emulsion on canvas.

Banksy, Trolley Hunters. Image © Sotheby’s NY Auction House 18 November 2021 USD 6,698,400

The artwork depicts three hunters stalking a “herd” of shopping trolleys instead of wild animals, highlighting our dependence on mass-produced goods and our inability to provide for ourselves outside modern capitalism.

“We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves.”

Banksy uses dark humour and satire to critique our Western consumer culture and its effects on our lives. While our needs today may differ from those of Neanderthal man, we have become reliant on capitalist structures. If these structures were to fail, we would find ourselves as empty-handed as Banksy’s hunters. The pandemic of 2020 made this more evident than ever as we faced widespread shortages and delays.

Banksy’s Trolley Hunter imagery reminds us of the impact of consumerism on our lives when we are urged to spend, spend, spend. We also saw this shop until you drop theme in the “Falling Shopper’ mural by Banksy in Shoreditch, London.

Banksy ‘Falling Shopper’ Shoreditch, London

Banksy’s Trolleys

‘Trolleys’ is a Banksy screenprint first released in 2006 by Modern Multiples of Los Angeles to mark the opening of Banksy’s Barely Legal in Los Angeles. It is part of Banksy’s Barley Legal Set, which includes six Banksy prints. However, only 100 out of 500 unsigned black-and-white prints were printed and went on sale.

In 2007, Pictures on Walls re-released Trolleys in the UK in three different formats: 750 signed prints in colour (blue and yellow), 400/500 unsigned (black and white), and 150 signed (black and white). There are slight differences between the LA Edition and the later UK unsigned release, as the former was printed on cream-coloured paper, and one of the hunters possesses a different weapon.

Bethlehem Colour Edition of Trolleys is a unique series consisting of 28 signed prints that were printed on endpaper. This special edition was exclusively released at Banksy’s Santa’s Ghetto exhibition in Bethlehem in December 2007 and was only available to visitors.

‘Trolleys’ is a powerful statement about consumer culture and its impact on our lives, and it remains highly sought after by collectors of Banksy’s work. The print serves as a reminder of our dependence on mass-produced goods and our inability to provide for ourselves outside modern capitalism, a theme that is central to Banksy’s oeuvre.

Purchase Banksy’s Trolleys (Black and White) screenprint Unsigned

Banksy’s Trolleys

Year: 2006 – 2007

Medium: Screenprint in colours on Arches wove paper

Size: 56×76 cm (22×30 inches)

Publisher: Pictures on Walls

Trolleys (Black and White): 150 signed, 500 unsigned Trolleys (Colour): 750 signed Trolleys (LA Edition): 100 unsigned, 6 signed Printer’s Proofs (PP) Trolleys (Bethlehem Edition): 28 signed

To purchase a Banksy Trolleys screenprint or other pieces by Banksy, please visit our online store. Alternatively, you can contact us at GraffitiStreet, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your art purchase.



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