Monkeys in Street Art

Aryz, Monkey Business. St. Denis, Reunion Island 2012 © The Artist

DispatchesArt & Culture

Monkeys in Street Art

Celebrating Chinese New Year with the street artists who can't help monkeying around...

Their genetic closeness to us, their capacity for cute and killer, their intrinsic link to proverbs, significance in protest, embodiment of oppression … street artists love monkeys, and all they represent. Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge reads the sandwich board draped over the dejected shoulders of a chimp in one of Banksy‘s most iconic works, whilst countless pieces riff on the famed Japanese maxim of the three wise monkeys — plenty more street artists call on the monkey’s exaggerated features and instantly recognisable silhouette.

The ninth of 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle, 2016 is the year of the monkey. We thought it’d be nice to herd us all up a carload of painted primates from some of street art’s finest. There’s collaborative works featuring the likes of Belgian artist ROA and Sweet Toof, incredible realism from Etam Cru, and beguiling intricacy from Liqen and Aryz. Monkey see, monkey do.

BANKSY Monkeys

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

BANKSY, Cans Festival 2008

Banksy, Cans Festival 2008. Photo, mermaid

Etam Cru

Etam Cru. Photo, Rex Monkey

Mighty Mo + Sweet Toof Street Art

Mighty Mo + Sweet Toof, Hackney. Photo © Romany WG

Ericailcane street art

Ericailcane, Mexico City. Photo, Gorgo

Mr. Brainwash

Mr. Brainwash at 3 Punts Galeria, Barcelona

Liqen Street Art

Liqen, Mexico. Photo, Unurth

Barcelona Street Art

Unknown Artist, Barcelona
Photo, Moise Levi

Francisco de Pájaro Art is Trash

Art is Trash (Francisco de Pájaro), Barcelona
Photo, @scotch.bonnet

Roa Street Art

Yen + Roa + Resto + Santos, Belgium. Photo © Romany WG

Zoo Project Paris Street Art

Zoo Project, Paris. Photo, Savage Eyes

Sav45 Barcelona

Sav45, Barcelona. Photo © We Heart

Goin Street Art

Goin, Council of Monkeys, Duke of Lancaster ship. Photo, Rex Monkey

Mau Mau Street Art

Mau Mau. Photo, StreetArt in Germany

Alessio B

Alessio B, Bologna. Photo, Art Weekenders