Controversial Graffiti Artist Banksy Headlines 'Street Art' Auction Today
On the heels of the recent $1.1 million sale of the Banksy mural Slave Labor, Julien's Auctions, the premier celebrity and entertainment memorabilia auction house, has announced the rare sale of an original mural from controversial graffiti artist Banksy. Banksy's Flower Girl, which formerly occupied a Los Angeles gas station wall, will headline Julien's Auctions "Street Art" auction to take place Thursday, December 5, 2013 in Beverly Hills. This rare opportunity to own one of Banksy's early large-scale graffiti murals will mark the first time a work of public street art by Banksy has been offered at auction in America.
Banksy is one of the world's most provocative artists. TIME Magazine selected the British graffiti master, painter and activist as one of the world's most influential people in 2010, among people such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and others. Although his art commands hundreds of thousands of dollars, his identity remains concealed. His world-famous street art can be found on facades from Great Britain to Israel's West Bank to the streets of Los Angeles. The majority of works by this controversial artist reflect his criticism of the government, presenting strong themes concerning surveillance and the government's role in modern society.
For Flower Girl, Banksy utilized black aerosol stenciling to reveal a young girl in silhouette, with a basket of picked flowers, gazing up into a security camera which has blossomed from a tall plant. In his signature style, the camera is adorned with a long rattail, one of Banksy's signature motifs. In Flower Girl, the artist poignantly juxtaposes the innocence of a young girl picking flowers with the curious and questioning gaze of someone not yet willing to back down. Banksy's upward trajectory can be traced from his early days when he was labeled an "outlaw" to his current status as a world renowned artist. He has graffitied on gritty urban walls as well as on stretched canvas, produced works of conceptual sculpture, and been the subject of an Academy Award nominated film, "Exit Through The Gift Shop".
Flower Girl transformed the 9x8 foot gas station wall into one of the artist's signature murals. It drew crowds to the unassuming gas station in Hollywood in 2008 when it was created and has since fueled the fire of the "street art" movement.
Banksy was quoted as saying "Hollywood is a town where they honor their heroes by writing their names on the pavement to be walked on by fat people and peed on by dogs. It seemed like a great place to come and be ambitious."
Banksy executes his painted graffiti murals on public buildings and other structures and surfaces. Originally using free-hand processes, he eventually evolved into using stencils as a way of securing the ethereal yet pervasive imagery. His images are drawn or printed onto sheets of cardboard or acetate and then painstakingly cut, as they are often quite complex in their linear details. This was the procedure Banksy used to execute Flower Girl.
Art collectors wishing to expand their portfolios to include Blue Chip urban art will find other highlights on display at Julien's Auctions, including pieces from the CONART collection, as well known artists such as Shepard Fairy, Risk, MearsOne, Cope2, Indie 184, Miner I, and Chaze.
"I loved when Banksy said, 'Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it's wet,'" said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien's Auctions. "Banksy is not only provocative but quite entertaining. It makes it quite fun to offer his art along with so many other great artists of our time, proving once again that Julien's Auctions is the world's best Pop Art auction house in the world."
In conjunction with the Street Art Auction, Julien's will also present the Icons & Idols: Rock 'n Roll auction December 6th and 7th, featuring poster art which emerged as the primary way to advertise in the 1960s. Concerts were held at the legendary Fillmore and Avalon Ballroom and promoters like Bill Graham and Chet Helms commissioned artists like Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly and the rest of the "big five" to produce psychedelic posters for their venues. These posters have gone on to become highly sought after music memorabilia for collectors and fans around the globe. Included in this auction will be a collection of early 1960s signs and Family Dog poster printing plates along with printer proofs showing the artistic process behind the rare posters. Also to be highlighted are Stanley Mouse's iconic Grateful Dead artwork: studies for Grateful Dead t-shirts, floats and publicity materials created by Dennis Larkins; work from famed Michigan artist Gary Grimshaw and much more.
Only at Julien's Auctions will collectors, fans or art enthusiasts have the opportunity to amass such extraordinary art for their own personal collections or entertainment. All of the art featured is rich in storytelling and uniqueness that combines a sense of controversy as well as an outstanding place in art and music history.
All of the property in the auction will be featured in a full color limited edition catalogue available for purchase at www.juliensauctions.com.