Who exactly is Banksy?
Some believe that Banksy is in fact the Bristol-based artist Robin Gunningham. Whilst others speculate that it is Rob Del Naja from the Bristol-based band Massive Attack. This belief only increased, when in a 2016 interview, DJ Goldie referred to Banksy as Rob, and with both of the aforementioned thought to be good friends of Goldie, the speculation only grew.
It's a common belief that Banksy became interested in painting after being expelled from school at the age of 14. Whilst Banksy's artworks have sold for astronomical sums at auction, it is heartwarming to note that the artist rarely takes the proceeds home - instead, donating vast sums to charity.
A partially shredded Banksy painting fetched a record-breaking £16 million at auction. The painting, titled "Love is in the Bin," was sold at Sotheby's in London, with this £16m figure setting a new high for the Bristol-based street artist. This artwork was brought to auction with an estimate of "only" £4-6 million, but clearly the artist's following of avid collectors continues to grow across the globe, which in turn means an increased number of bidders keen to acquire Banksy's work - pushing the ultimate sale price to this incredible amount.
"Love is in the bin" sold at Sotheby's for £16 million in October 2021
This artwork is even more remarkable seeing as it was in fact originally Banksy's renowned "Girl with Balloon" painting, which was shredded midway through an auction and sold to an unidentified European lady for £1 million in 2018. When the painting was auctioned off four years ago, it began shredding as soon as the auctioneer's gavel dropped in an unexpected piece of performance art. The shredder was incorporated into the gold-coloured frame's bottom.
"It's almost four years to the day when one of the most inventive moments of performance art this century made auction history," said Alex Branczik, chairman of modern and contemporary art at Sotheby's Asia. "Banksy is no stranger to generating headlines, and this newest chapter in his saga has gripped minds all across the world - we can only speculate on what may happen next."
The piece had been on permanent loan at the Stattsgalerie Stuttgart Museum in Germany since March 2019.
Due to little being known about Banksy's identity, estimates of his net worth are speculative, with the unverified website celebritynetworth.com placing it at roughly £50 million. A number of Banksy's artworks have already sold for astronomical sums at auction, meaning that other works of art attributed to this extremely popular artist are sure to attract a great amount of interest, and potentially also achieve higher prices than estimated.
His previous record was "Game Changer," a photograph of a little boy playing with a nurse doll rather than Batman or Spider-Man toys that sold for £14.4 million at Christie's 20th Century Art Evening Sale in London on March 23, 2021 – precisely one year after the UK's first nationwide lockdown.
In a remarkable gesture, the funds were donated to the NHS.
"Game Changer", Sold at Christie's in March 2021 for £14.4 million
If you are ever lucky enough to acquire one of these rare pieces of art, you are certainly very fortunate. We would always advise that you seek the advice of an expert Valuer, and here at Dawsons we would be happy to help you take any such works to auction.
With clients in over 120 countries across the globe, we can help you achieve the best possible sale price.
The expert team of Valuers at Dawsons would be happy to help should you have any Banksy artwork.
Please do get in touch if you have any Fine Art, Antiques, Asian Art, or indeed a piece of Banksy art that you would like to have valued with a view to selling at auction.
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