NULL Banksy (1973 -)

Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge, 2003

SKU: 11125

Screen print in colours


Height – 69.8cm
Width – 49.8cm


Private Collection

Laugh Now, one of Banksy’s early works, was first commissioned by the Ocean Rooms nightclub on Morley Street in Brighton. It was originally a six-metre long spray painted mural, with the figure of the monkey repeated ten times in a row to form a backdrop to the Brighton bar.

In 2003 the piece was also reproduced as a limited edition print for sale with only 150 signed and 600 Laugh Now unsigned prints in the series. In 2008, Ocean Rooms sold the painting at Bonham’s for what was then a record auction price of nearly half a million dollars. Today, Laugh Now is one of Banksy’s most internationally recognised works.

Along with the rat, the monkey is one of Banksy’s most frequently used animal characters. Satirising the nature of humankind, Banksy uses these animals as didactic figures in his critical social commentary. The catchphrase on the board is also typical of those often used by the artist to convey powerful or poignant messages to his audience.

IN 2003 Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist was born. Belgium legally recognized same-sex marriage, becoming the second country in the world to do so. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia and Montenegro; Malta approved joining the European Union in a referendum,  Lithuania approves joining the European Union in a referendum, followed by Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Estonia..

The World Health Organization issues a global alert on severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS, though declared it ‘contained’ just a few months later.

Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic travel to an end.

Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, was captured. 

THE ARTWORLD IN 2003: Beagle 2 lands on the surface of Mars; its calibration target plate is painted by Damien Hirst.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design takes over the Byam Shaw School of Art.

Grayson Perry wins the Turner Prize.


Jake and Dinos Chapman – Insult to Injury

Tony Cragg – Stainless Steel Pillar

Cornelia Parker – The Distance (A Kiss With String Attached): Subconscious of a Monument (interventionist sculpture)

Lynn Chadwick and Terry Frost died in 2003

Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, and and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.


1973 -

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, political activist, and film director, active since the 1990s.  His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges throughout the world. Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist and founding member of the musical group Massive Attack.

Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces. Banksy no longer sells photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but his public “installations” are regularly resold, often even by removing the wall they were painted on. A small number of Banksy’s works are officially, non-publicly, sold through Pest Control. Banksy’s documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the film. In 2014, he was awarded Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards. Banksy’s name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. In a 2003 interview with Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian, Banksy is described as “white, 28, scruffy casual – jeans, T-shirt, a silver tooth, silver chain and silver earring. He looks like a cross between Jimmy Nail and Mike Skinner of the Streets.” Banksy began as an artist at the age of 14, was expelled from school, and served time in prison for petty crime. According to Hattenstone, “anonymity is vital to him because graffiti is illegal”.For 10 years in the late 1990s, Banksy lived in Easton, Bristol, then moved to London around 2000.

Banksy is commonly believed to be Robin Gunningham, as first indentified by The Mail on Sunday in 2008, born on 28 July 1973 in Yate, 12 miles (19 km) from Bristol. Several of Gunningham’s associates and former schoolmates at Bristol Cathedral School have corroborated this, and in 2016, a study by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London using geographic profiling found that the incidence of Banksy’s works correlated with the known movements of Gunningham. According to The Sunday Times, Gunningham began employing the name Robin Banks, which eventually became Banksy. Two cassette sleeves featuring his art work from 1993, for the Bristol band Mother Samosa, exist with his signature.


NULL Banksy (1973 -)
Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge, 2003