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The Story behind Banksy’s Napalm (Can’t Beat that Feeling)
This piece is clear-cut and simple in its messaging, with the central female character clearly representing the innocent who are always injured and damaged by the effects of war. The use of Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald is a clear sign of America’s consumerist attitude and the juxtaposition that lies between the reality of war and the media images that are shown to those back home who support the war effort.
This separation and distance are put into harsh perspective in works of art like this, where the central character has actually been taken directly from an authentic photograph of war in Vietnam, 1972.
One of the major questions raised by this piece is whether or not the media figures, in the form of Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald, are deliberately exploiting the war and its victims for their own gain. It seems obvious that Banksy is critiquing and placing a harsh spotlight on these kinds of consumer brands and large corporations, but is that more about the violence that they ignore or the simple way that they exploit the cravings of young people for their own gain?
The History of this Piece
The first and most notable thing to understand about this piece, and something that will interest avid Banksy buyers in particular, is that the original work of art ended up being owned by Damien Hirst, who himself deals in light and dark, and juxtaposing imagery to create striking and powerful pieces.
Far from the fictional characters and individuals he often depicts as a representation of the masses, in this piece Banksy picks out an individual from the 1972 photo by photographer Nick Ut in Vietnam, adding an extra layer of realism and authenticity to the message and story.
The original Napalm (Can’t Beat that Feeling) was released in 2004 and was subsequently part of a release of 500 unsigned prints and 150 signed prints. Due to its popularity, it is one of the most coveted Banksy pieces at auction in all its colourways and variations.
Sell your Banksy Napalm (Can’t Beat that Feeling)
Getting a formal valuation on your original Banksy unsigned print allows you to ensure that you receive the best price from a Banksy buyer. A valuation will also be used at auction to assess the validity and authenticity of your print, with a number of auctions available for selling your print.