Banksy’s Westway Highwayman

Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Banksy’s Westway Highwayman, by John Lundberg of

Coinciding with the last week of his show at the Bristol City Museum which has seen crowds queuing for up to 6 hours to view the exhibition, Banksy has created a new piece on the streets – or should that be roofs – of London.


The ‘Highwayman’ as it’s been dubbed has been painted on one of 2 towers that sit on the roof of ‘Great Western Studios’, a building that up until recently housed 140 artists and creative businesses. The building was previously a railway warehouse. The ‘Highwayman’ is situated next to the A40(M) Westway, a major highway that runs through West London.

The image which is over 20ft tall depicts a rearing horse with a capped rider holding a paint roller aloft. He’s also wearing a hat and scarf that are the trademarks of the infamous English rogue and highwayman Dick Turpin. On the back of the tower the words ‘LIVE FAST DRIVE SLOW” have been written and the 2 towers have been daubed with pink paint including a love heart with an arrow piercing it, most likely applied by filling a fire extinguisher with paint. The best view of the artwork is from the Westway.


Banksy has used a similar image previously, which is referred to as ‘Roller Zorro’, as it’s derived from an image of Zorro holding his sword aloft on a rearing horse. Banksy’s version replaces his sword with a paint roller. It was first seen at his 2006 ‘Barely Legal’ show in Los Angeles as a small sketch displayed alongside other sketches.


It was then seen again in 2008 during an open day held by Pictures On Walls, the gallery that now produces and sells all of Banksy’s prints. The image was silk-screened onto t-shirts, cardboard and canvases brought along by visitors to the open day.


There’s also a version of the image on wood at the Bristol exhibition.

photos of Highwayman by Romanywg