You’ve probably heard of an artist named Banksy. He’s one of the most coveted living artists. However, if you haven’t heard of this guy, you’re in the right place. We’re going to be counting down some of his most expensive artwork ever made, and we’ll give you a sneak preview, his most expensive piece sold for almost £17 million.
Who is Banksy?
The thing is, nobody actually knows who Banksy is. Usually, a quick Google search will bring up someone’s entire life history. This isn’t the case for Banksy as we don’t know too much about him. The mystery behind Banksy’s identity, and the fact that he’s never been formally identified, makes his work even more popular. People love a mystery and not knowing Banksy’s identity definitely adds a certain charm to his work.
Why is his art so famous?
Banksy’s artwork is so famous due to its political nature. Often his work features political messages or figures, take his Devolved Parliament piece of art as an example. In his art, he has a very unique kind of satire interwoven, and one where he often ridicules people in power or other cultural events. Ever since the beginning of ‘Banksy’, he’s used his influence and artistic power to make bold statements and give individuals in society who don’t have a voice, a voice. Banksy isn’t the only artist who has used their work to make a political statement. In fact, art, history and culture have always been seen as interconnected.
Five of Banksy’s most expensive art pieces
Banksy’s art often doesn’t come cheap. It can actually come with a pretty hefty price tag. Here are five of his most expensive pieces of art.
Love Is In The Bin – £18.6 million
Banksy’s Love In The Bin tops the list of his most expensive pieces of art, as it was sold for £18.6 million in October 2021. It’s rumoured that nine bidders wanted the work. So much so they ended up battling it out between them for over ten minutes.
The Love Is In The Bin artwork is a version of his extremely popular Girl With The Balloon piece, which was partially shredded the second the hammer came down at one of the Sotheby’s auctions. It almost seems worth more now that the work has been partially shredded.
Game Changer – £16.7 million
Banksy released a piece of art named Game Changer at the beginning of the pandemic, in support of the NHS staff and workers for their bravery during the Covid-19 crisis. This piece of art raised over £16.7 million for the NHS when it was eventually sold at Christie’s 20th Century Art Evening sale in March 2021. What is most interesting about this work is that it was originally valued at £2.5 million, however, it was actually sold for over eight times that estimate.
If you’re wondering what Game Changer looks like, it’s an image of a young boy in dungarees playing with a toy which is dressed in a traditional nurses uniform complete with a red cross, a cape and a face mask. The child is holding the doll over his head, which represents the idea that ‘not all heroes wear capes.’ In the basket next to the young boy lies two forgotten-about figurines – Spiderman and Batman.
Devolved Parliament – £9.9 million
As we spoke about earlier, Banksy loves to be satirical within his work. This piece, named Devolved Parliament, depicts the extremely recognisable House of Commons, but instead of seeing politicians sat on the seats, they have been replaced by chimpanzees. This is one of Banksy’s larger pieces of art, spanning a whopping four metres in width. It was sold in the Sotheby’s Post War and Contemporary Evening Art sale in October 2019 for £9.9 million.
Love Is In The Air – £9.2 million
Love Is In The Air sold for £9.2 million at Sotheby’s in New York in 2021, and this sale caused controversy due to the fact that it was the first physical artwork that was sold at auction and was available to finance through either bitcoin, ether or US dollar.
The artwork itself is an image of a man sporting a backwards baseball cap and a bandana across his face. He is in a javelin-throw like position and instead of throwing something dangerous like a brick or a bomb, he is throwing a bouquet of flowers. It is thought that the piece is supposed to represent a call for peace, rather than war.
Show Me The Monet – £7.5 million
Show Me The Monet sold at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London in 2020 for a huge £7.5 million. Although this is at the lower end of Banksy’s most expensive pieces of art ever sold, it’s not a low price.
The painting is a replica of Claude Monet’s iconic image of the Japanese footbridge in his own water garden in Giverny. However, Banksy’s version has a twist to it. In the water is an orange traffic cone and a shopping trolley, which obviously disrupts the calm of the rest of the image. Banksy himself has confirmed that the artwork shows the damage that has been done to our environment by big businesses and corporations.
How do I get my hands on Banksy’s artwork?
Banksy is famous for his street art, which means that sometimes getting your hands on an original piece of art can be challenging, and sometimes impossible. The next best (and legal) thing is to purchase one of Banksy’s prints. For most of his artwork, he creates prints of the design, so that people can enjoy his work in the comfort of their own homes.
If you are looking to buy or sell your Banksy artwork, then you’re in the right place to do so. The team here at Zero Percent are here to help you every step of the way, whether you’re looking to sell your Banksy art, or deck out your home with brand new artwork.