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Banksy art to be sold at auction in Auckland

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Banksy, the elusive and controversial British street artist who has won a world-wide fan base, is arriving down under.

Three works by the mysterious Banksy will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity when they are offered at a sale of Collectable Art at the International Art Centre in Parnell, Auckland, next week (June 30).

Each of the three numbered screen prints is expected to sell for between $15,000 and $20,000.

One of the Banksy prints, Golf Sale is one of the first Banksy works released in 2003 and is based on the famous photograph of a protester standing in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989 after Chinese military’s violent suppression of the 1989 Democracy Movement.

As in the photograph, the black and white print features a man standing in front of tanks but unlike the photograph, the man in the Banksy print is holding a sign reading ‘Golf Sale’.

Banksy, who has never been publicly identified but is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, and is in his late 40s, was later reported to have said that among other things, the print paid tribute to those who dared to stand up to authority,

International Art Centre director Richard Thomson said Golf Sale and the other two Banksy works, Weston Super Mare (produced in 2003) and Soup Can (2005), were all bought in 2005 from Banksy’s agent, Pictures on Walls of London, by a private New Zealand collector when he was living in London.

Banksy has won a world-wide following and his fans include Hollywood actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who are reported to have commissioned Banksy to produce art for them in a rare move by the artist.

"One version of his Soup Can print brought nearly $60,000 so there is a real demand for his art. He is probably the most sought-after street artist in the world.

"The New Zealand owner has had them since 2005 and it is very rarely that they come up for sale in New Zealand. In fact, there may only have been one Banksy work ever offered for sale in New Zealand.

"This is an incredibly rare opportunity for those interested in acquiring a work by Banksy as most of his work is sold through auction houses in London and New York."

He said the Banksy works had created a buzz of excitement and they had been fielding calls from around New Zealand and offshore.

The sale also includes an assortment of Len Castle ceramics from the Ron Sang Collection and a collection of Toss Woollaston works, including a never before seen oil of Bayley's Hill.

"New Zealand has produced a range of very highly respected and very talented contemporary artists and we are not really surprised at the level of interest this sale has already generated," Mr Thomson said.

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