Banksy Artwork Auction Fetches Nearly Half A Million


Auction of artworks by street artist Banksy tots up over £400,000, massively exceeding estimates

The auction of Urban Art was held at Bonhams last night.  It featured 17 art works by the internationally renowned graffiti artist, Banksy. It is the first time that some of the artwork has been up for auction, with many pieces fetching some serious pre-sale estimations.

Works such as ‘Leopard and Barcode’, which has which has never before been seen at auction, attracted a pre-sale estimate of £60,000 – £80,000, went under the hammer at the high end, selling for an impressive £75,650. But the real show stealer of the night was ‘Girl and Balloon’ – a work painted on the cardboard back of an Ikea piece of furniture. Estimated to go for between £15,000-£25,000, it exceeded all expectations, fetching an incredible £73,250 – that’s five times the estimate!

Alan Montgomery, Urban Art Specialist at Bonhams said that interest in Banksy’s work is still very high: ‘It seems that the public just can’t get enough of him, and his continued anonymity, even following last year’s Oscar Nomination, only adds to his enigma.’

In a separate sale at the auction house, a screen print of a dollar sign by American pop artist Andy Warhol sold for £44,450.

Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Most recently the artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.

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