Banksy - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Phillips
  • “A print made in homage to New York post-graffiti pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat. In which Banksy is cleverly questioning the relentless commodification of Basquiat in recent times - by crassly adding to the relentless commodification of Basquiat in recent times.” —Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product website

    Banksquiat (Grey) is one of the most recent limited-edition prints produced by the British street artist Banksy. Realised in 2019 as part of the artist’s Gross Domestic Product installation – Banksy’s own homewares shop in Croydon town centre – this screenprint derives from an original stencilled work that was first revealed in 2017 at the Barbican Centre in London. The appearance of this mural coincided with the opening of the Barbican’s Basquiat: Boom For Real exhibition – the first major retrospective in Britain dedicated to the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who rose to fame in the late-1970s through the New York graffiti scene. Positioned on the concrete facade of the Barbican, the original design for Banksquiat was accompanied by a further Banksy mural, which detailed a pair of London Metropolitan Police officers frisking the two titular figures of Basquiat’s 1982 painting Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump. Both works were cleverly stencilled near a sign pointing towards the ‘Barbican Exhibition Halls’, encouraging viewers to question the complex politics at play in the encounter between the Barbican, the street, Basquiat, and Banksy.

    “Art should come in unconventional guises and be brought to those who might not ordinarily seek it out in more predictable settings”
    —André Heller


    At first glance, the deceptively simple design of Banksquiat (Grey) shrouds the heavily layered art historical references that the work encompasses. Depicting a Ferris wheel, Banksy’s composition visually recalls the installation created by Basquiat for Luna Luna. Held in Hamburg in 1987, Luna Luna was the world’s first contemporary art amusement park, which featured attractions created by renowned artists of the era, such as a carousel by Keith Haring, an immersive forest pavilion by David Hockney, and a Ferris wheel by Basquiat. Organised by André Heller, Luna Luna was born out of Heller’s belief that “art should come in unconventional guises and be brought to those who might not ordinarily seek it out in more predictable settings.” Heller’s ethos and the concept behind Luna Luna draws clear parallels with Banksy’s practice. In 2015, the British artist created Dismaland – a temporary art project involving over 50 creatives which sought to reinvent Disneyland with a sinister twist. Featuring remote-controlled migrant boats, a Punch and Judy show centred around domestic violence, and a monumental Ferris wheel, Banksy took inspiration from Luna Luna to bring his satirical graffiti to life in a setting that still operated outside the walls of museums and galleries. The fundamental belief that art should exist beyond these institutions underpins Banksy’s work, and he continues to use the street as his canvas, much like Basquiat did in the early days of his career in New York City. In Banksquiat (Grey), Banksy combines these numerous art historical touchpoints to create a composition that challenges the perceived importance of art institutions, questions whether these venues are inclusive and accessible, while also querying if these establishments are suitable settings to display work that is so indebted to the graffiti and street art movements. Simultaneously, Banksy’s richly referential design fuses his artistic approach with the revered practice of Jean-Michel Basquiat.



    Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tuxedo, 1983. Artwork: © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023


    Banksy’s satirical criticisms of the art world continue in Banksquiat (Grey) through his ingenious appropriation of the late-American artist’s imagery. Adorned with Basquiat’s trademark crown motif, Banksy’s Ferris wheel symbolises the endless cycle of capitalism. Presenting a commentary on the commodification and acceptance of artists – particularly black artists – in contemporary art, Banksy considers how celebrated works are increasingly reproduced to satisfy contemporary consumer culture. Encompassing a myriad of meanings, Basquiat used the three-point crown as a symbol through which he could convey important meditations on social and political issues. Also famed for his political commentaries, Banksy frequently combines his activism with comedy, and here humorously critiques the art world’s ostensibly exploitative approach to Basquiat’s work by directly appropriating one of the artist’s most recognisable motif.


    Executed in his signature stencilled aesthetic and saturated with enigmatic references, the present lot is a remarkable example of Banksy’s politically charged artistic oeuvre. Infused with the context of the artist’s original mural, the Banksquiat (Grey) screenprint is a thought-provoking composition that pays homage to Basquiat as a forerunner of the contemporary street art movement and closely aligns Banksy’s practice with that of the pioneering American artist.

    • Provenance

      Gross Domestic Product (GDP), London, 2019
      Private Collection, London

    • Literature

      Ars Publicata, Banksy Editions, 2019.02

    • 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


Banksquiat (Grey)

Screenprint in colours, on grey card, with full margins.
I. 70 x 65 cm (27 1/2 x 25 5/8 in.)
S. 75.2 x 70.1 cm (29 5/8 x 27 5/8 in.)

Signed and numbered 173/300 in white pencil, co-published by the artist (with his blindstamp) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), London, with the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity issued by Pest Control, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 7 - 8 June 2023