Banksy Blek Le Rat Bonhams D*Face Nick Walker

Urban Art – Insanity Takes Hold

(all photos Bonhams)

Originating from the streets of Bristol, Brighton and London, growing up via galleries in the East End (TLSG and BRP well represented tonight), the street print and canvas fetish they call urban art arrived in the plush west end auction rooms of Bonhams tonight .

Standing room only as Banksy stole the show, with new records for signed and unsigned screenprints, and a high score of £190,000 plus about £50,350 in premium and taxes was reached for the multiple Laugh Now monkeys on painted board. Other Banksy highlights included £82,000 for the pink punk canvas, rather a lot for a picture which looks like it might belong in your daughter’s bedroom and the jaw dropping £80,000, that’s over £100k with add ons, for the signed editioned print, read it again..editioned, Kate Moss (30/50) which undoubtedly brought a smile to one seller’s face.

Note all prices here are hammer prices, add a further 26-28% for buyers premium, VAT and artists fees, which raises the interesting question of how will Banksy get his since you have to provide name and address to collect!

Christ With Shopping Bags (13/82) topped the prices for other signed prints at £17,000 whilst signed HMV (19/150) and Golf Sale (27/750) both realised £11,000 and signed I Fought The Law brought in £10,000. The last three make the £11,000 paid for an un-signed Bomb Middle England (288/500) look like in-explicable lunacy. The only rat at the show other than me, an un-signed Gansta Rat (94/350) went for £6,500.

Nick Walker’s burgeoning recognition, his soaring talent showcased superbly in LA at the moment was rewarded by a Moona Lisa canvas stretching to a cheeky £45,000. The beautiful London Morning After AP 12/12 with its lush blue sky went for £4,500 and probably drew the largest number of frantically waved paddles.

Two very dark but classy Guy Denning oil on canvases priced erratically with the 50×70 Fear and Loss knocking down for £8,000 compared to the comparative bargain of £2,000 for the 50×50 We Saw This.

Antony Micallef flippers failed to catch fire with the Peacekeeper Uzi loving quartet ranging from £1,700 to £2,200. That’ll teach ya.

Adam Neate’s The Apprentice went for a tasty £36,000 making the smaller Neates on cardboard look a comparative steal at between £5,500 and £8,500.

Catalogues sold out so expect those to flip on eBay at a ridiculous premium any minute now.

The auction had more buzz than a hive on acid and undoubtedly suggests that apparently faltering prices are due to kick on again. If that’s what you want. Frankly the mood did border on the insane, though the buyer of the top priced piece has been popping up at all the street art openings for some time so wasn’t bidding in ignorance. Given the awesome/in-explicable prices achieved for the somewhat patchy to mediocre selection auctioned tonight I would be surprised if cashing in on the street art bubble isn’t attempted again fairly soon.

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