Happy Choppers 2002, an aerosol stencil on board by Banksy is a great example of Banksy art sold at the Julian’s Auctions. Image: Julian’s Auctions
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA–Nine Banksy art were part of the major highlights at the recent auction of street art organized by Julian’s Auctions. The auction which realized over $1.3 million also included artworks by other prominent street artists, graffiti artists, and contemporary artists. They included iconic street artist Shepard Fairey, RETNA, Damien Hirst, Alec Monopoly, KAI, DOC, Gregory Siff, Ben Eine, Rene Gagnon, Zevs, D*Face, Faile, Kaws, Ludo, Dolk, Saber, Nick Walker, and Mar.
The excitement generated when it was announced that Banksy art would be on sale was well articulated when the auction began. When Banksy art came up for auction, collectors fell over each other to collect the works of this elusive artist. Artworks after artworks, collectors in the hall and on the phone engaged in a battle of ‘this is mine”, as they showed unrelenting effort to get the works into their collection.
Happy Copper 2002 was one of the top sellers of Banksy art at the auction. The aerosol stencil depicts a squadron of military helicopters in what looks an attack formation. On the lead “chopper” is a pink bow. This exceptional piece accentuates Banksy’s outstanding ability to magnify contradiction. With the pink bow, he mocks the masculinity of the helicopters while also highlighting their inherent dangers of war. The pink bow also allows viewers to question the helicopter’s innocence. Is this the case of the carrot and the stick? Created on the board originally used to prevent the public from accessing a construction site in London at the Whitecross Street Market in 2002, the piece sold for $140,800.
Untitled (DJ & Crane) 1999, another Banksy art made great impression at the auction. The Hand-painted acrylic and aerosol on wood sold for $128, 000. Other Banksy art sold at the auction included Heart Boy which sold for $125,000, and Toxic Mary (2004) which sold for $12,800. Bomb Love, a Screenprint on paper, depicting a young girl in a black dress tenderly clutching a bomb as if it were a teddy bear sold for $35,200. NOLA (2009) sold for $41,600.
In addition to Banksy art, artworks by other important street artists got the attention of collectors. Shepard Fairey Walk The Line 2005, sold for $32,000, while Ben Eine’s Black Circus A to Z 2011, sold for $15,000.
Besides Banksy art and artworks by other the street artists, several contemporary artists were also offered at the auction. Works by Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg were on sale.
Other post-auction highlights included Andy Warhol’s MAO 1972, which sold for $28,800. Robert Rauschenberg art work sold for $32,000, while Brigitte Bardot 2011, by Paul Insect sold for $6,250. Alec Monopoly’s Jack Nicholson 2011, sold for $10,000, and The Only 2016 by Wrdsmith with Imhuge sold for $8,320. Faile Mini Puzzle Box (2014) sold for $12,800, and Sandra Chevier’s La Cage Qui A Donne Cavle A L’Humanite 2014, sold for $8,960.