Banksy - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Lazarides Gallery, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    Keeping his identity a closely guarded secret, the graffiti artist Banksy has made a name for himself with provocative images stenciled around the streets of London.  Having transitioned into the status of a commercial artist, rather than a sole rebellious one, Banksy has created a number of works where a publicised image that had first appeared on a street wall had suddenly been transported to a flat surface, transforming the state of street art into commercial art.  A similar process had been witnessed in New York some thirty years ago by the graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Although their inspiration and messages may have been derived from slightly different sources, Banksy is the first artist to have returned to the world of street art and to have gained prominence through his diverse actions.

  • 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.

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Insane Clown

Mixed media on Hessian.
252 x 193.5 cm. (99 1/4 x 76 1/8 in).

£200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for £241,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm