Banksy - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Lazarides Gallery, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Graffiti is not the lowest form of art. Despite having to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s actually the most honest artform available…The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit. But if you just value money then your opinion is worthless. The say graffiti frightens people and is symbolic of the decline in society, but graffiti is only dangerous to three types of people; politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers.
    Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal. A city where everybody could draw wherever they liked, where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city like that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall—it’s wet," (Banksy, Banksy Wall and Piece, London, 2007, p. 8 & 85).

  • Artist Biography


    British • 1975 - N/A

    Anonymous street artist Banksy first turned to graffiti as a miserable fourteen year old disillusioned with school. Inspired by the thriving graffiti community in his home city, Bristol, Banksy's works began appearing on trains and walls in 1993, and by 2001 his blocky, spray-painted works had cropped up all over the United Kingdom. Typically crafting his images with spray paint and cardboard stencils, Banksy is able to achieve a meticulous level of detail. His aesthetic is clean and instantly readable due to his knack for reducing complex political and social statements to simple visual elements.

    His graffiti, paintings and screenprints use whimsy and humour to satirically critique war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed — with not even the Royal family safe from his anti-establishment wit.

    View More Works


Insane Clown


Spray paint stencil on Hessian.

99 1/4 x 76 1/8 in. (252 x 193.5 cm).

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $386,500

Contemporary Art Part I

12 Nov 2009
New York