YOU CAN BANK ON IT: While Christie’s and the fashion designer Paul Smith prepare to sell a rare Banksy painting, Sotheby’s also is gearing up to sell another piece of the artist’s work that has been repurposed after being shredded shortly after being sold at auction three years ago.
For the past few decades, the street artist has not revealed his identity or his real name, stoking a mysteriousness that has intrigued many in and out of the art world. In 2018, his “Girl With Balloon” sold at auction for $1.4 million, and moments later, the work was unexpectedly shredded by a shredder in the frame, before a gasping crowd at Sotheby’s. Now entitled “Love Is in the Bin,” that partially shredded work will be auctioned at Sotheby’s London Wednesday.
The Smith-owned painting, “Sunflowers From Petrol Station,” will go up for auction next month at the 21st Century Evening Sale at Christie’s New York. It is expected to fetch between $12 million and $18 million. Signed and dated Banksy October 2005 the oil on canvas will be a highlight in the auction house’s Nov. 9 sale.
In the lead-up to what should create some lively bidding, given the global interest in the anonymous artist’s work, Christie’s is exhibiting it in a few of the auction house’s locations. First shown in Christie’s Hong Kong galleries, the yellow painting will be shown in the Los Angeles outpost Oct. 20 to 23, before returning to New York, where it will go on view starting on Oct. 30 and running up to the sale.
In a statement, Smith said, “I was so impressed by his observations of what was happening in the world and that remains true to the work he’s doing today.”
Meanwhile, last weekend a Banksy-style mural of a dark-haired boy in a striped shirt flying a yellow kite imprinted with a frown appeared overnight outside of The Griffin pub in Stockport, England. A spokeswoman for the Manchester-based brewery Joseph Holt, which owns The Griffin, said the stenciled, spray-painted work was believed to have been completed “in the early hours” and was revealed Sunday from behind “a set of screens,” according to local residents. The Griffin’s landlord also knew nothing about it.
After emailing a request to the artist, Joseph Holt received this response, “This is not by the artist Banksy.” Holt’s marketing manager Paul Longmire, said in a statement, “Now the hunt goes on to find out who actually completed the work.”
An email request to the artist was not acknowledged Tuesday.