- Title: USA: Various murals and stencils by graffiti artist Banksy are up for auction
- Date: 27th November 2013
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 27, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF INTERIOR OF WAREHOUSE WITH BANKSY'S ARTWORK ON DISPLAY MICHAEL DOYLE, CONSIGNMENT DIRECTOR FOR JULIEN'S AUCTIONS, WALKING TO BANKSY PIECE CLOSE UP OF "UMBRELLA RAT" (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL DOYLE, CONSIGNMENT DIRECTOR FOR JULIEN'S AUCTIONS, SAYING: "Banksy was really the first one to take this stencil really to a new level and turn graffiti away from freehand spray paint can and whatnot into stencils and in doing that, within the stencils has an implicit social critique or message with it."
- Embargoed: 12th December 2013 12:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Arts
- Reuters ID: LVA93R13UGYQIDM7BLHYEXTZFJ5F
- Story Text: A collection of aerosol stenciled artwork by British graffiti artist Banksy is going up for auction. "Flower Girl," "Black Bobby" "Umbrella Rat," "Happy Choppers" and "TV Girl" were cut from various walls around the world and will be sold by Julien's Auctions in December. The total estimated value for the five pieces is between $440,000-$710,000 (USD).
The auction's centerpiece will be "Flower Girl," which was a mural painted on the brick wall of a gas station in 2008. After years of public display, the entire wall containing the art was cut out. Measuring 9 feet by 8 feet, the mural shows the silhouette of a girl looking up at a closed-circuit television camera sprouting from a vine.
Consignment director for Julien's Auctions, Michael Doyle said that the piece, like most of Banksy's work, is a statement about society.
"Banksy was really the first one to take this stencil really to a new level and turn graffiti away from freehand spray paint can and whatnot into stencils and in doing that, within the stencils has an implicit social critique or message with it," he said. "It's kind of a switch of context, obviously, in nature a couple of hundred years ago there wouldn't be any security cameras so this is Banksy's way of integrating these modern motifs of surveillance and all those type of issues into the stuff that's been going on for thousands of years."
Banksy, who intentionally hides his identity and real name, is becoming a hot commodity in the art world. He is the pseudonym of a graffiti artist who first emerged in Bristol, England, as part of an underground group. He hides his identity and real name, and his works have become collectors' items, prized for their trademark spray-paint stencils and offering social commentary.
"Flower Girl" is estimated to fetch between $150,000 and $300,000 - which some see as a conservative estimate, considering that another one of his works, "Slave Labour," recently sold for $1.1 million.
Doyle said that in 2008, a gas station owner was approached by his friend and street artist Mr. Brainwash, who asked him if Banksy could stencil a mural on the side of his gas station's wall. The business owner agreed and "Flower Girl" was created.
"The next morning when he came in, he checked the security footage and all of a sudden at 4 a.m. the cameras went completely blank and when he looked there 'Flower Girl' had materialized on the side of his building so Banksy's obviously done this before, he knows what he's doing, he's got a few tricks up his sleeve and basically this piece was then on display at its original location for several years," said Doyle. "I think that's part of how Banksy was able to create these pieces behind such camouflage without anyone really knowing. The consigner actually now believes that the person Mr. Brainwash was with at the time was actually Banksy, but he was just totally oblivious to it at the time."
The Banksy collection will hit the auction block on December 05 in Beverly Hills as part of Julien's Auctions "Street Art" collection.
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