Lot 3
  • 3

BANKSY | Vote to Love

400,000 - 600,000 GBP
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  • Banksy
  • Vote to Love
  • signed and dated 18 on the reverse 
  • spray paint on UKIP placard mounted on board
  • 117 by 116.5 by 8.5 cm. 46 by 45 7/8 by 3 1/4 in.


Royal Academy of Arts, London
Private Collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner 


London, The Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition 2018, June - August 2018 


Jonathan Jones, ‘Summer Exhibition/The Great Spectacle Review – A Grayson Revolution’, The Guardian, 6 June 2018, p. 11, illustrated (installation view, Summer Exhibition 2018, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2018)
Alex Marshall, ‘Rejected, Then Banksy Put His Name on It’, The New York Times, 12 June 2018, p. C3, illustrated (installation view, Summer Exhibition 2018, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2018)
Eddy Frankel, ‘The Summer Exhibition’, Time Out, 12 June 2018, p. 77 (text)  


Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is deeper and richer in the original. Condition: This work is in very good condition. Surface irregularities, such as wear to the corners, outer edges, various scratches, holes and surface dirt are in keeping with the artists choice of materials and working process. No restoration is apparent when examined under ultra violet light.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Executed in 2018, Banksy’s Vote to Love is a subversive painting from the anonymous street artist’s seditious and politically charged oeuvre. To create the work, Banksy defaced a found ‘Vote to Leave’ placard from the UK’s 2016 Brexit campaign, led by UKIP’s then-leader, Nigel Farage. The composition depicts a red, heart-shaped balloon, patched up with criss-crossed plasters, which has drifted in front of the placard's slogan, altering the word ‘leave’ to ‘love’. With its striking simplicity and raw immediacy, Vote to Love offers a message of optimism at a time of increasing divisiveness in global politics. The work was prominently displayed in The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2018, after originally being turned down for the show when Banksy submitted the work under the pseudonym Bryan S. Gaakman – a play on the words ‘Banksy anagram’. Accepted a month later in a slightly revised format under the artist’s true moniker, Vote to Love was sardonically priced in the exhibition catalogue at £350 million – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the infamous and much-lampooned Vote Leave bus which claimed Brexit would save the NHS an extra £350 million a week.

Born and bred in Bristol, Banksy has achieved a legendary status that teeters between acclaim and notoriety for his provocative paintings, sculptures, installations and graffiti. His work is rich in dark humour and frequently captioned with subversive epigrams that provide pejorative commentaries on socio-political aspects of contemporary life. Banksy’s own mission statement, ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’, is itself a modern day take on the turn-of-the-century American satirist Finley Peter Dunne’s declaration that a newspaper's duty is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” (Finley Peter Dunne cited in: Dean P. Turnbloom, Ed., Prizewinning Political Cartoons: 2010 Edition, Gretna 2010, p. 146). Situated within a longstanding tradition of raising an illuminating mirror up to the world, Banksy’s work fits into a rich and venerable history of visual parody, from the British pictorial satirists of the Eighteenth Century, including Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and the great William Hogarth, through to venerable trailblazers in art history such as Marcel Duchamp.

Following the sale of Banksy’s Devolved Parliament in October 2019, a monumental work of biting satire, the creation of Vote to Love further exemplifies the artist’s penchant for disturbing and disrupting the status-quo. Striking and pertinent in its immediacy, Vote to Love encapsulates Banksy’s interrogative and anti-establishmentarian practice.

This work is accompanied by a Pest Control certificate.