Berlin, 22 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) – A painting by secretive street artist Banksy, his take on a famous work by French impressionist Claude Monet, has sold for 7.6 million pounds (9.9 million dollars) at an auction in London.
Earlier, auctioneers had estimated the painting, titled “Show Me The Monet” would sell for 3 million to 5 million pounds, British auction house Sotheby’s said after the auction on Wednesday evening. It was bought by a private collector from Asia.
This was the second-highest price ever paid for a painting by the reclusive artist at an auction, the auctioneers said. In 2019, a Banksy painting showing the British parliament attended by chimpanzees was sold for about 9.9 million pounds.
The oil painting is based on Monet’s “The Japanese Bridge,” with two shopping trolleys and a traffic cone floating in the pond of the idyllic scene in the original.
Banksy had painted the piece in 2005 for an exhibition called Crude Oils which reinterprets the works of famous artists. At the time, he said with regard to his work: “The real damage to our environment is not done by graffiti writers and drunken teenagers, but by big business and lazy architects.”
Banksy, whose identity remains a mystery, is “the pre-eminent social commenter of our time,” Sotheby’s said.
Little is known about the artist, except that he comes from Bristol in the south-west of England and went to London in the late 1990s.
He rose to fame with street art that is socially critical and addresses controversial motifs, often appearing in unexpected places. Banksy has addressed topics such as homelessness and the coronavirus crisis.