A fter nearly getting caught by the British Transport Police while trying to paint ‘LATE AGAIN’ on the side of a passenger train, street artist Banksy realised he needed to cut his painting time in half or give up.
It was then that he found the process that would become his signature style, stencilling. Marked by dark humour, satire and political commentary, his colourful multi-layered stencilled works appear unexpectedly in every corner of the world. Stunts like the shredding of Girl with Balloon during October 2018's Contemporary Evening Sale, the installation of his Mona Lisa in the Louvre in 2004, and his impromptu stall in 2013 in Central Park have heightened his profile amongst collectors across all media.
This upcoming sale offers first-time and established collectors the chance to acquire works by the artist at a wide range of price-points.
"I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom.’ (Banksy, Wall and Piece, p. 24)"
Girl With Balloon first appeared as a mural on Waterloo Bridge in 2002 and has subsequently emerged in several other locations. This work, which has an estimate of £50,000–70,000 is an emotive image that illustrates hope and desire in contemporary life. On the wall, it was set in deliberately dull surroundings to reinforce its meaning. This image has come to be the poster-child for the artist’s work and an icon of global street art.
Other works by Banksy in the sale include Pulp Fiction, 2004 (estimate (£15,000–20,000), Morons, 2006 (estimate £10,000–15,000), Donuts Chocolate (estimate 18,000–22,000) and Gangsta Rat (estimate £10,000–£15,000). All of these highly sought after prints are great examples of the artist’s work tackling the moralities of modern culture through urban art, which have made him one of today’s most relevant street artists. As he puts it, ‘Nobody ever listened to me until they didn't know who I was.’ (Banksy, Wall and Piece, p. 13)