Early pieces by graffiti artist Banksy added to Los Angeles auction

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four early works of elusive British artist Banksy will go on sale at an auction in December, joining the artist's "Flower Girl" piece, Julien's Auctions said on Monday.

The four graffiti works include "Happy Choppers," a 2002 mural that first appeared on a wall at the Whitecross Street Market in London and features a stenciled group of military helicopters, one adorned with a pink bow.

The piece is estimated to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000, and will join the sale of "Flower Girl," a stencil work that first appeared on a Los Angeles gas station wall. It is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $300,000.

Beverly Hills-based Julien's Auctions said the auction marked the first time that Banksy's public street art had gone on sale in the United States.

The works were all put up for sale by private owners whose identities remain confidential. The consignors to decide whether Banksy receives any part of the proceeds, Julien's said.

Also included in the sale are two other works from Banksy's 2003-2004 tour in Germany, which were discovered on walls in Berlin. "TV Girl" features a stencil of a girl holding a television set with an orange heart on the screen, while "Umbrella Rat" depicts a rat dressed in a bowler hat and tie, parachuting with an umbrella.

"TV Girl" is expected to fetch between $80,000 and $120,000 while "Umbrella Rat" is estimated between $40,000 and $60,000.

The final piece to be added to the collection is a 2003 work called "Black Bobby," from Banksy's tour in Sydney, Australia. It features a silhouette of a British policeman writing a ticket and is valued between $20,000 and $30,000.

Other works in the "Street Art" collection include canvases and paper pieces by artists Risk, Indie 184 and MearOne.

Banksy is the pseudonym of a graffiti artist who first emerged in Bristol, England, as part of an underground group. He hides his identity and real name, and his works have become collectors' items, prized for their trademark spray-paint stencils and offering social commentary.

The auction follows a month-long "street residency" by Banksy in New York through October, during which he placed murals, sculptures and artwork around the city.

One stunt included selling original canvas artwork for $60 at a street-side stall, with buyers having no idea they were purchasing Banksy originals. He also dropped off a painting at a Housing Works thrift shop, which funds charities for AIDS and the homeless, snubbing the art world. The thrift shop auctioned the painting, which fetched more than $600,000.

As Banksy's street work often appears on private property, it has brought up questions of ownership. This year, two of his murals were pulled from a Miami auction when questions arose about the ownership of one and how it had been obtained.

The work, "Slave Labour," eventually sold at a private auction in London for $1.1 million in June, a sign of growing demand, and prices, for a Banksy original.

The artist also appeared in the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" with his face obscured and voice altered. His works are verified through his website (www.banksy.co.uk). (Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Chris Michaud and Christopher Wilson)

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Furious 7's Walker tops UK chart
    Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Furious 7's Walker tops UK chart

    American rapper Wiz Khalifa has scored the fastest selling single of the year, as his tribute to actor Paul Walker, "See You Again", climbed 21 places to top the British chart, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. The song featuring Charlie Puth is on the sound track to the movie "Furious 7", and it pays tribute to cast member Walker who died during filming in November 2013. A remix of OMI's 2012 reggae song "Cheerleader" climbed 25 places to number two in the run down, while last …

  • Box Office: 'Furious 7' out runs 'Paul Blart 2,' 'Unfriended'
    Box Office: 'Furious 7' out runs 'Paul Blart 2,' 'Unfriended'

    "This is how you build a record year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. "These are summer-style numbers in April." Despite "Furious 7's" continued dominance, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" did better than expected, pulling in a solid $24 million across 3,633 locations. It's good news for Sony Pictures, which had a painful chapter from its recent history dredged up this week when Julian Assange's WikiLeaks published an archive of emails and documents that were stolen by …

  • It's the best time to be with Aaradhya: Big B

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says it is the best time to be with his three-year-old granddaughter Aaradhya, who is a curious child and very mature for her age. Aaradhya is Abhishek and Aishwarya's daughter and the 72-year-old grandfather said that he loves spending time with her. …

  • My son doesn't get affected: Malaika on item songs

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress-producer Malaika Arora, who has changed the dynamics of item songs in Bollywood, says she enjoys dancing and her son doesn't get affected by her work. If he likes the song, he comes up and says that he liked it. "For me, personally I think songs are part of the film and it's fun to be a part of a song but it also depends on how it's going to be publicised and picturised. The term item number may be looked at in a derogatory way in showbiz, but the "Chaiyya …

  • Sonam begins filming Neerja Bhanot biopic

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress Sonam Kapoor has begun shooting for the biopic of Neerja Bhanot, a Pan Am chief purser who was gunned down by terrorists when Flight 73 was hijacked in Karachi in 1986. Sonam feels humbled to be a part of the biopic, which is ace photographer Atul Kasbekar's debut production. Kasbekar wished for good luck for the film and tweeted: "#NeerjaBhanot Her story begins today... Wish us luck." Actors Riteish Deshmukh and Dia Mirza and former Balaji Telefilms CEO Tanuj …

  • Helen is unbelievable on screen: Malaika

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress-producer Malaika Arora Khan, also known for her dancing skills, says there is nobody like yesteryear's dancing diva Helen. Asked how she reacts when people compare her to Helen, who is married to the former's father-in-law Salim Khan, Malaika told IANS: "I don't think there is any comparison. She is unbelievable on screen." While Helen remains Malaika's all-time favourite, the latter is also all praise for actress Deepika Padukone. "For me, my favourite is …

  • I'm hungry for roles: Lalu Alex

    Kochi, April 19 (IANS) It's been over three decades since Lalu Alex began to don the grease paint, but the Malayalam actor says he still has "the fire in me and I'm certainly hungry for roles". In his long cinematic career, he has featured in more than 300 films like "Ee Nadu", "Padheyam", "Chronic Bachelor" and "How Old Are You". …

  • Nikita lands special song in 'Paayam Puli'

    Chennai, April 19 (IANS) Kannada actress Nikita Thukral has been roped in for a special folk number in Vishal Krishna Reddy-starrer Tamil actioner "Paayam Puli". …

Loading...