Banksy's 'Brace Yourself!' Grim Reaper Painting Given To A British Band Sold at Julien's Auctions

The event was on Wednesday, March 29th.

Banksy's 'Brace Yourself!' Grim Reaper Painting Given To A British Band Sold at Julien's Auctions

Julien's Auctions held on Wednesday, March 29th its headline making auction event "BRACE YOURSELF FOR BANKSY: MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART," featuring over seventy original artworks from the likes of Banksy, Bob Ross, Colette Miller, Invader, Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison, Jim Carrey, David Yarrow, and more in front of a live audience at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills including a musical performance by the British band "Brace Yourself!," along with hundreds of bidders and collectors from around the world participating online at

The top selling item was a large-scale painting of a grim reaper figure riding in a carnival bumper car titled "Brace Yourself!" by the legendary artist Banksy, which sold for a staggering $2,032,000, over three times its original estimate of $600,000 in its first public auction. The winning bidder was Miguel Garcia Larios, owner of RCNSTRCT Studio in Hollywood, California (photo left pictured in middle with cap in front of Banksy's painting and band Brace Yourself!). Banksy created the artwork in 2010 for a local British band known as "Exit Through the Gift Shop," who coincidentally shared the same name Banksy wanted to use for his about to be released 2010 directorial debut film. To avoid any copyright issues, the band agreed to Banksy's offer to create a unique painting for the group if they were to change their name to "Brace Yourself!" According to the original email correspondence, Banksy humorously offered to paint a smiley face on Death if the band felt the imagery was too dark.

In celebration of this historic occasion, the "Brace Yourself!" band members Natalie Zalewska (singer), Mark Atkinson, Darren Moore and Kevin Wilson (guitarists) and drummer Simon Duncan performed live on-stage last evening at the Julien's Auctions gallery in Beverly Hills prior to the sale of the Banksy painting and the painting was exhibited recently at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus in London. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Banksy painting will benefit MusiCares, the leading music charity. MusiCares provides the music community with a support system of health and human services across a spectrum of needs including physical and mental health, addiction recovery, unforeseen personal emergencies and disaster relief.

Another Banksy made an exciting appearance at the evening auction: an original print of Banksy's "Girl with Balloon" artwork sold for $195,000. Balloon Girl (or Girl with Balloon) is considered Banksy's best-known and beloved artwork, having been produced in various forms by the artist since 2002. An aerosol example was famously sold at Sotheby's in 2018 for over a million dollars and was immediately shredded by a hidden mechanism Banksy had concealed within the picture frame - the shredded remains were subsequently sold for over $25 million dollars a few years later
(photo right: auctioneer Kody Frederick at Julien's Auctions live auction in Beverly Hills)

An impressionist school antique landscape painting by an unknown artist bearing a "Paris" stamp on the verso sold for an astounding $117,000, nearly four hundred times its original estimate of $300 was a surprise highlight of the event.

A rare opportunity to become the owner of an original Bob Ross painting titled "Make a Happy Buck" delighted potential bidders, with a final sale price of $11,700, two times its original estimate. The painting was gifted by Ross to his close friend Dana Jester so that Jester could finish it and then sell it. Ross included a handwritten note telling Jester, "Dana, you can finish this one & make a happy buck - Bob."
Other highlights included (with winning bids): Invader's original "WN-25" Vienna mosaic artwork ($13,000), David Yarrow's "Compton Cowboys" photograph ($19,500) and Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison's "Bristol Limousine" bumper car artwork ($11,700). Photos from the auction and artwork can be downloaded here for media use (credit: Julien's Auctions).


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