Two ”Bowler Rats aka Sword Rats” on fridge door. (upper panel) Aerosol spray via stencil.
The rats were sprayed by Banksy on his and his flat mate’s refrigerator doors when Banksy stayed in Brighton with his “dogs body” Harvey Haddock. Four rats were painted on two separate fridge doors. Later dismantled for exhibition.
Banksy also painted a "Vote Less Elephant/human" on the outside of the flat in Brighton. See photos as well as a identical single "Bowler Rat" on a wooden door. The image that ended up on the frontvover of the Banksy book: UNTITLED - "Street art in the counter culture" - see photos.
Haddock was also used by Banksy as the model for the famous Banksy painting “Nighthawks” depicting a drunk Englishman (Harvey Haddock) who has thrown a chair in the window of the bar in Edward Hoppers famous painting Nighthawks.
A photo exists of Harvey Haddock as he is working on the exhibition “Crude Oils” that opened at 100 Westbourne Grove in London and was Banksy’s second major exhibition, after Turf War in 2003. It featured 20 versions of classical oil paintings, among them Van Gogh, Hopper, Warhol, Turner and Monet. Also present were 200 live rats and some interesting sculptures. See photos.
The connection between Banksy and Harvey Haddock can be found in Banksy literature and in the press.
"For Edward Hopper's bar scene, Nighthawks, Banksy has added an angry man dressed only in Union Jack shorts who has just broken the bar window with a plastic chair. The model for the man was Harvey Haddock, Banksy's "dogsbody" who will show visitors around personally."
-Harvey Haddock /Banksy. A gift from the artist. -Private Collection, Brighton. -Lamberty London -Private collection
Please note that this work was (of course) accepted by Flickr´s "Banksy Pool Group". See last photo.
The work is accompanied by a written statement from Harvey Haddock confirming his long time relation with Banksy in the old days.
The signed and dated letter goes:
20 Cromwell Road Hove BN3 4.11.´05
I Harvey Haddock have known Banksy for 5 years and consider him to be a personal friend. We worked together on a number of occasions, such as Turf War03. I also moddelled for him on Nighthawks. In September 03 Banksy stayed in my home in Brighton for a week. It was during this time he sprayed the rats on my fridge. It was a gift to me that I have now decided to sell.
On opposite side:
GBP 3000 received with thanks for Banksy stencil fridge.