Banksy - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 14, 2022 | Phillips
  • "I love graffiti. I love the word. Graffiti equals amazing to me. Every other type of art compared to graffiti is a step down – no doubt about it. If you operate outside of graffiti, you operate at a lower level. Other art has less to offer people, it means less, and it’s weaker." 
    Audacious and provocative, in Sorry The Lifestyle You Ordered Is Currently Out Of Stock guerrilla street artist Banksy collapses high culture and street art, applying the pointed satire of his site-specific graffiti to a direct critique of the connections between the art market, consumer capitalism, and environmental issues. Set within a heavy gilt frame evoking museum walls and Old Master paintings, the work is composed of an appropriated canvas featuring a romantic mountain landscape, defaced with the slogan ‘Sorry The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock’ and attached to a densely spraypainted board behind. Uniting these different elements within the work Banksy forges unexpected dialogues between them, communicating his message with characteristic economy and wit.

    In it's a clever combination of humour, appropriation, and the pointed conflation of so-called high and low art forms, Sorry The Lifestyle You Ordered Is Currently Out Of Stock follows in the disruptive mode of Situationist artists such as Asger Jorn. Appropriating reproductions of well-known paintings and the canvases of amateur artists, Jorn applied thick, gestural marks and compositional additions, altering the meaning communicated by the original work in the process. Following Jorn, Banksy’s recontextualization of these older canvases serves to emphasise that ‘the meaning of old fashioned paintings had not yet been exhausted but could be renewed by means of new and unexpected pictorial inserts.’ii


    Asger Jorn, Hirschbrunft im Wilden Kaiser (Deer in Heat in the Wilder Kaiser), 1960,
    Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Image: Scala, Florence/bpk, Bildagentur fuer Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte, Berlin, Artwork: © Donation Jorn, Silkeborg / DACS, London 2022

    Borrowing the vocabulary of advertising and consumerism to identify the hypocrisy involved in promoting a discourse of England as a ‘green and pleasant land’ while allowing profit-seeking enterprises to simultaneously dismantle that landscape, the work is a product of what Gianni Mercurio has described as Banksy’s mode of ‘brandalism’: ‘a rebellion against the great corporations that manage our lives, our forms of consumption, even the space in which we live, through choices that are exclusively aimed at making profit.’iii


    Graffiti to Gallery 

    First appearing in a large-scale stencilled work on the side of an empty building on the corner of East India Dock Road in London’s East End in 2011, the text ‘Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock’ playfully wraps political commentary in the familiar language of commodity consumption. Although simple, the interaction of the message with its location made a powerfully pointed statement about gentrification in the East End, and the wild property speculation that followed the closure of the docks in the early 1980s. Littered with estate agent boards, the abandoned building appears to have been a casualty of this aggressive growth, stalled when the 2008 financial crisis started to bite.


    Ironically invoking slogans associated with our own consumer experience, Banksy shifts our focus out to a more global level, using the familiar to open our eyes to global inequalities and existing power structures that operate in the background of our day to day lives. Having applied it in a critique of the economic forces and social inequalities played out in urban space, Banksy quickly adopted the slogan in a sharp critique of the art world, most pointedly in his 2013-14 collaboration with fellow Bristol-born artist Damien Hirst, defacing an immediately recognisable Spot Painting  with grey spray paint and overlaid with the same white text we see in the present work. While this work played very deliberately with Hirst’s reputation as representative of the market forces driving contemporary art to record prices, Sorry The Lifestyle You Ordered Is Currently Out Of Stock returned to an earlier conflation of art, the environment, and the ethics of late capitalism that Banksy first deployed in his infamous 2005 Crude Oils exhibition.

    "The vandalised paintings reflect life as it is now. We don’t live in a world like Constable’s Haywain anymore and, if you do, there is probably a travellers’ camp on the other side of the hill. The real damage done to our environment is not done by graffiti writers and drunken teenagers, but by big business… exactly the people who put gold-framed pictures of landscapes on their walls and try to tell the rest of us how to behave."

    Littered with stencilled cctv cameras, rubbish, burnt-out cars, and military helicopters, the broader group of ‘vandalised paintings’ to which the present work belongs made their first appearance alongside some 200 live rats in a disused commercial space in London’s affluent Notting Hill in Banksy’s Crude Oils exhibition. In their own way, these works are highly representative of our contemporary landscape, Sorry The Lifestyle You Ordered Is Currently Out Of Stock in particular articulating something that might not be visible, but is keenly felt in a period of economic and socio-cultural upheaval. Evoking the language of high culture and advertising and exposing the ways in which both are exploited by the dominant hegemonic order as tools for exercising and maintaining power, Banksy attacks established value systems and exposes the hypocrisy and disingenuity that characaterise the times we live in. Finding innovative ways to translate a graffiti sensibility onto canvas, the defaced oil paintings represent a significant moment in the development of Banksy’s practice, and of the scope of his institutional critique. In the words of the artist, ‘if you want to survive as a graffiti writer when you go indoors your only option is to carry on painting over things that don’t belong to you.’v


    Collector’s Digest

    • Coming out of a generation of urban counterculture centred in Bristol in the late 1980s and 90s, Banksy is one of the leading and most provocative street artists of his generation. His stencils are amongst the most instantly recognisable and defining images of contemporary British art, and Banksy was recently voted the nation’s favourite artist in 2019.

    • The present work connects Banksy’s earliest site-specific stencilled works with his later series of ‘vandalised paintings’ first presented at his 2005 Crude Oils exhibition in London, highlighting the evolution of his practice and the scope of his social critique.

    • The vandalised paintings represent some of Banksy’s most popular works, achieving some of the highest prices for the artist at auction.


    i Banksy, quoted in Gianni Mercurio, ‘I Dissent, Therefore I am’, in Gianna Mercurio, A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy, London, 2020, p. 7. 
    ii Gianni Mercurio, ‘I Dissent, Therefore I am’, in Gianna Mercurio, A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy, London, 2020, p. 13.
    iii Gianni Mercurio, ‘I Dissent, Therefore I am’, in Gianna Mercurio, A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy, London, 2020, p. 13. 
    iv Banksy, quoted on Channel 4 News, 13 October 2005.
    v Banksy, Wall and Piece, London, 2005, p. 128.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, USA
      Private Collection, United Kingdom
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • 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


Sorry The Lifestyle You Ordered Is Currently Out Of Stock

signed 'BANKSY' lower right; signed and dated 'BANKSY 12' on the reverse
spray paint on found canvas on graffed board, in artist’s frame
106.7 x 166.4 cm (42 x 65 1/2 in.)
Executed in 2012, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control.

Full Cataloguing

£1,200,000 - 1,800,000 

Sold for £1,837,500

Contact Specialist

Rosanna Widén
Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+44 20 7318 4060

Olivia Thornton
Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe
+44 20 7318 4099

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 14 October 2022