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Have A Nice Day


Have A Nice Day depicts 27 military or riot police in a single, intimidating, line.

A man of many contrasts and juxtapositions, Banksy’s artwork often dictates the sinister alongside the comical; creating and sharing messages that pit innocence against violence, and fear against humour. In this piece, the striking contrast comes in the form of the yellow smiley faces planted atop the faces of each of the militant individuals – with the central tank a strong representation of the threat that these individuals are advancing towards.

Crucially the writing at the bottom of the page is presented in a calligraphy style, which somewhat lessens the threat and adds yet another layer of contradiction to the overall presentation of the piece.


Medium: Screen Print
Format: Unsigned Print
Year: 2006
Size: H 80cm x W 122cm
Framing details: Framed with glass
Edition size: 500
Signed: No
Condition: Excellent
Provenance: Pest Control COA


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The Story Behind Banksy’s Have a Nice Day

As soon as you hear the phrase ‘have a nice day’ you picture something unthreatening and kind – however from the off this piece of art plays with emotions and contrasts, labelling a sinister and war-related image with this light and unthreatening phrase.

By placing smiley masks over the faces of each militant policeman, it has been argued by Banksy buyers and art critics that the artist is trying to share and represent a number of scenarios – one of which being that the police are governed by a central force which cares not for individuality but instead presents a uniform approach to order and regulation.

Another reading of this piece takes the idea of Banksy using a smiley face motif whenever he is exerting the use of force and control upon certain groups or individuals – showing how the police officers hide behind the masks of fear and force.

A third reading is more simple but somewhat more sinister – questioning whether or not the police simply hide behind smiles and will use excessive force in the face of any threat without question. This ties into a common theme explored by Banksy, that freedom is constantly being threatened and that the leadership of modern society uses excessive force and violence on a regular basis.

The History of this Piece

Banksy’s Have a Nice Day was first released in 2003, with two different versions of the piece – each using a different font for the titular text across the bottom of the image. A popular piece with Banksy buyers who look for pieces which express the artist’s most common motifs – in this case, the smiley face and the militant figures – Have a Nice Day is representative of a sinister form of control which is increasingly being exerted by the police and those in power.

Banksy buyers and art fans tend to see this original print as more unusual for the artist due to its dimensions and the sizing – creating an oppressive and stifling display with the long length.

Sell your Banksy Have a Nice Day

As a critic of military action, war, and the effect of violence particularly on innocent citizens and groups of society, Banksy captures many of his main motivations in this piece – and it’s that which makes it so popular with Banksy buyers. Receive a formal valuation on your original unsigned print, to ensure that you get the best price at auction.

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