It sounds like a joke – and a pointed and cutting joke at that, on auctions and the art market by British graffiti artist Banksy.
The sale of two artworks by the … camera-shy artist at Bonham’s Auction House in July will benefit a buyer who bought the pieces in New York – at a stall, in Central Park – during the graffiti artist’s “Residency in the Streets,” in October of last year, in the streets of the Big Apple.
Banksy played tag with fans, critics and law enforcement officials during his month-long tenure in NY. “Better Out than In,” his open-air “art show” featured graffiti, installations, and sculptures; see the links below for our coverage of the general mayhem that was.
One lucky buyer, a tourist, who bought two original pieces at an unassuming stall for $60 each, which is a normally exorbitant price for the souvenirs usually sold at the outdoor stalls of Central Park, stands to make a not-so-small fortune at auction. The works – one featuring children standing on a hill of guns and bombs, and a Pooh Bear crying over a pot of honey marked with a dollar sign, have been authenticated by Banksy. The starting bid for the both is £120,000.
The Guardian reports that: “Gareth Williams, head of contemporary art at Bonham’s, said the Central Park stall was a coup. “The fact that his paintings were original and were being offered at a tiny fraction of their true retail value, raises real questions about the perception of worth and the nature of art as commodity within the marketplace – something that the artist must be acutely aware of.”
See the artist’s video record of the Central Park event, linked here.
Previously on Art is Life: