Banksy on the Isle of Man

Banksy Grin Reaper
Photo by

The Sayle Gallery has been asked to offer for sale an original Banksy print. As far as we are aware, this is the first time Banksy has had work on the Island.

We have heard of a Manksy operating here but, like the Romans, Banksy has not made it to our shores himself (or themselves if Banksy is a collective). But then again, how would we know, as Banksy remains infamous for his closely guarded anonymity.

Although English, Banksy has created artworks all over the world in places such as Australia, the United States, Israel, Jamaica, and Canada. He even stenciled nine images on the Wall of Bethlehem and has opened an hotel with 'the worst view in the world' on the wall which separates Israel and Palestine. He has created a theme park in Western Super Mare called 'Dismaland', which as the name suggests, is not a theme park you might rush to take your children to. It would be lovely if this certified print by Banksy could stay here and, in a small way, keep the Isle of Man on the Banksy map.

Banksy has created a storm in the world of contemporary art and culture. His street artworks are by their nature illegal as he uses the popular street art form of graffiti, either stencilling directly onto walls or other street surfaces or indeed creating street installations. He makes use of signage or other street furniture and incorporates these into his pieces. His work is renowned for its contentious nature and the name Banksy has become synonymous with witty but often dark, social and political comment.

The artwork that is offered for sale is not one of his illegal pieces, (it would not be easy to transport a painted wall to the Island). It is a limited edition screen print which measures 70cm by 44 cm, titled 'The Grin Reaper'. It depicts the grim reaper with the iconic yellow smiley face – a symbol that has sort of slipped into our culture (as explained by the writers of the film 'Forrest Gump'), a symbol that many of us use everyday as an emoji in digital messaging. The Grin Reaper is sitting comfortably on the side of a clock face from Big Ben which is in turn an iconic symbol of British culture, time and stability. It is perhaps ironic that at this point in time the old structure of Big Ben is struggling and in need of major renovation to ensure its survival, whereas the smiley face is alive and well and undergoing many diversifications within new digital media.

If anyone is interested in seeing this Banksy artwork, a viewing can be arranged at the Gallery. Contact us on 674557 or email The artwork is being sold as exhibited on behalf of a private owner. A 'Certificate of Authenticity' produced by Banksy's own, 'Pest Control' company, accompanies the signed artwork and provenance is warrantied by the current owner.

A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government