Banksy has had a busy year, from his at times unwelcome pandemic art, to a court battle over the rights to his work, and now an auction in which one of his paintings sold for significantly more than the estimated value.
He’s mostly known for his street art, but on occasion produces a gallery-ready painting, which collectors will fight tooth and nail to own if it becomes available.
Auction houses also love a Banksy – it’s never a disappointing battle of the paddles, even when he tries to destroy the work on offer.
The latest piece to go under the hammer was his 2005 parody of one of French impressionist Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies paintings.
“The work is such a complex and strong comment on the institution of art, but also a comment on consumerism vs. culture. Today I perceive it as one of the most important works of art in this century so far,” said Jacob Thage, the director of the Museum Jorn in Denmark where Show Me The Monet was most recently displayed to the public.
Here’s the original Monet:
And Banksy’s Show me the Monet:
Sotheby’s says that five potential buyers were all determined to own the piece, which drove up the bidding, allowing the painting to bring in double the estimated value.
According to a Sotheby’s statement, Show Me The Money “presents a dialogue on the impact of the corporate world on our environment and the sacrifices made at the expense of so-called ‘human progress’.”
After a heated back and forth between the bidders, the painting eventually fetched $9,8 million (around R160 million).
It’s the priciest of Banksy’s works to sell on auction since Devolved Parliament, depicting MPs as chimpanzees in the House of Commons.
Whoever took Show me the Monet home must have been very pleased with themselves.
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