The previous record for a work of Banksy, whose true identity remains a mystery, was 1.7 million euros), in 2008 in New York.
In the midst of the debate over Brexit, a painting by street artist Banksy representing the British Parliament peopled with monkeys was awarded 9.9 million pounds (11.1 million euros) Thursday 3rd October 2019 in London, a record bid for the British artist who sprayed the estimate.
The previous record for a work Banksy, whose true identity remains a mystery, was 1.87 million dollars (1.7 million euros), in 2008 in New York.
“Too bad she did not belong to me anymore”
“Record price for a Banksy painting reached tonight. Too bad she did not belong to me any more, reacted the artist on Instagram. He sold it in 2011 to the man who broke up on Thursday.
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The canvas, of 2.50 m by 4.2 m without its frame, was estimated between 1.5 and two million pounds sterling (between 1.7 and 2.25 million euros).
It was awarded after 13 minutes “disputed auction” where “ten collectors” have made the price soar, said Sotheby’s. The identity of the acquirer has not been disclosed.
A month of Brexit
This dystopian painting depicts chimpanzees sitting on the green benches of the House of Commons, in place of the British deputies.
The sale came less than a month from the planned date of Brexit on 31 October, in a country still very divided, more than three years after the referendum of June 2016 deciding the divorce with the European Union.
Last week, the House of Commons was the scene of particularly lively exchanges between Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition MPs, unheard of in 22 years, according to the Speaker of the Lower House.
“There has never been a better time to sell this painting,” AFP quoted Alex Branczik, head of the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department Europe, as saying: daily soap opera »the scenes of these last months and weeks in Parliament.
For him, Banksy’s work emphasizes “the regression of the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world in a tribal and animal attitude”.
The painting was originally exhibited in 2009 at the Bristol Museum (southwest), from where Banksy originated. But this year, the artist born or born in 1973, “again exposed the work to coincide with the date of Brexit, originally scheduled for March 29, 2019, 10 years after its first exhibition,” said Branczik.
The exhibition attracted 300,000 visitors.
Renamed “Devolved Parliament”
“I think there is no doubt about his political views but Banksy’s true genius is his ability to reduce this incredible, complex debate to one, simple image,” said Sotheby’s expert.
Previously dubbed “Question Time”, in reference to the weekly session of questions to the Prime Minister, the painting was reworked by the artist, who notably changed the meaning of the banana of one chimpanzee. The painting was renamed “Devolved Parliament”.
This title refers to the devolution of powers in the United Kingdom, which assigns powers of the Westminster Parliament – such as education, transport or health – to regional assemblies (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). By replacing deputies with primates, Banksy presents his own theory of parliamentary evolution.
It was also at Sotheby’s Banksy had made him talk last year when one of his paintings had partially self-destruct, just after the hammer of the auctioneer.
This is not the first time that the famous street artist has interfered in the Brexit debate. In Dover (south-east), he made a fresco of a man smashing a European star with a chisel, a work that can be seen by the thousands of truck drivers and visitors entering the United Kingdom each year. day.