Perhaps one of the artist's most recognisable images, Banksy's Girl and Balloon sold yesterday (September 12) at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in London.
Featuring within the auction's top three highest-selling lots, the sale displays the power of street art to contend with fine artists in today's market. Against a £30,000-50,000 estimate, the piece sold for £58,850 ($94,862) - a 17.7% increase.
The double canvas had been tagged by Banksy on the overlap. Executed in 2005, the work was numbered eleven in an edition of 25.
Despite the excellent price achieved in the sale, Girl and Balloon did not prove to be one of Banksy's most valuable works; his Leopard and Barcode made $120,840 in March this year. On October 29, those keen to invest in Banksy's incredible popularity will have the chance to do so, when Bonhams' first Los Angeles urban art sale will feature a number of his canvases.
The auction's highest-selling piece was Joseph Albers' Study for Homage to the Square: Desert Glow I, which sold comfortably within its £100,000-150,000 estimate at £139,250 ($223,914). Reminiscent of a Rothko work, whom Albers undoubtedly inspired, the piece was created by the artist in 1956 and displayed the arresting exploration of colour for which he was known.
Also starring was a characteristic untitled piece from Keith Haring, which had been inscribed "Merry Christmas Jonathan 1982 love, Keith" on the reverse. Another graffiti-inspired work, it soared past its £30,000 high estimate to achieve an impressive £97,250 ($156,378). The sale represents a 224.1% increase on its initial valuation.
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