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The Story Behind Banksy’s ‘Get Out While You Can’
The first thing to note about this piece is that Banksy did not coin the statement phrase himself – rather it comes from a book by George Marshall about escaping the rat race and ceasing to become a slave of capitalism and society (both things which Banksy is keen on representing and showing across his portfolio of works).
As you look closely at the piece of art, you will see that not only is the rat standing on two feet to give him more of a human feel, but he is also wearing a peace sign around his neck in a form of social protest. Banksy often uses the peace sign to create boundaries and indecision between good and bad figures, and in this case, it seems that the peace sign is in deliberate contradiction to the violent words splashed across the placard.
The other thing to recognise in this piece, and every other piece featuring Banksy’s iconic rat, is the way in which Banksy uses this central character as a way of representing all those in society who are unheard, ignored, and downtrodden. By giving these individuals a voice through the figure of the rat, Banksy is creating his own form of an uprising against the societal norms that we are all expected to conform to.
The History of this Piece
This piece was in fact created and released as part of a Placard Rat series, which featured two other versions with their own slogans – one reading ‘Welcome to Hell’ and the other ‘Because I’m Worthless’. Both of these take inspiration from Marshall’s book on escaping the rat race, hence the central figure of the rat who remains the same throughout and epitomises the figures in society who have succumbed to the capitalist rat race.
While this collection is now available as a collection of unsigned prints, with the original prints highly coveted by Banksy buyers all over the world, it is interesting to note that originally Banksy’s rats would pop up and appear all over major cities – starting in London and signifying the long-running feud between Banksy and street artist Robbo.
Today, it seems that it is through original prints like these that Banksy buyers can own their very own piece of history.
Sell your Banksy ‘Get Out While You Can’
If you’re looking to sell your Banksy ‘Get out while you can’ original print, ensuring that you receive a fair and formal valuation from a professional company is key to selling for the right price. For more information, get in touch.