SHOW ME THE MONET!
Banksy's contemporary take on Claude Monet's masterpiece sells for a record $13.9million surpassing all expectations...
Banksy’s dissident version of Claude Monet’s Impressionist masterpiece was sold by Sotheby's at an auction in New York for $13.9 million (£7.5m), meaning it is the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the British street artist.
Show me the Monet was first shown 15 years ago as part of Banksy’s second gallery exhibition at 100 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, West London. Titled ‘Crude Oils:
comprising what Banksy has termed “remixes” of canonical artworks. In it, the artist takes and subverts the language of art history to recreate renowned artworks with his own witty reworkings, and with his own distinct and equally free, brushstrokes: among them, Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers portrayed wilting or dead in their vase; Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks augmented by an angry man in Union Jack boxer shorts moments after breaking the bar window with a chair, and Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe re-faced with Kate Moss. The present work may be interpreted as a comment on consumerist culture, a criticism of the commercialisation of art, a lament for the demise of the environment, or all of the above.
Sitting within a larger body of work, the series is an extension of Banksy’s earlier investigations into painting when he began putting his own stamp on conventional looking oil canvases bought at flea markets around London. The first public display of a work from this series took place in 2003 in Tate Britain, when the artist secretly installed Crimewatch UK Ruined the Countryside for All of Us - a small oil painting of a bucolic country scene covered with blue and white police tape. In the artist’s own words, “If you want to survive as a graffiti writer when you go indoors, I figured your only option is to carry on painting over things that don’t belong to you there either.” The sale of Show me the Monet comes a year after Banksy's Devolved Parliament sold at Sotheby’s London for a record breaking £9.9 million ($12.2 million).