The public still doesn’t know who the street artist Banksy is, but a collection of his work is estimated to bring in about US $500,000 at an auction in Los Angeles.
Julien’s Auctions is holding its biannual Street and Contemporary Art featuring nine pieces by the mysterious England-based graffiti artist, this weekend.
Bids have already started coming in through anonymous customers online.
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“‘Crazy Horse’ behind me is one that already has a bid of $60,000 on it and we have a few bidders that have already placed bids on that. explained Michael Doyle of Julien’s Auction.
“And then we have ‘DJ and Crane’ which is actually original aerosol on canvas and that is estimated at $130,000 to $150,000 and that already has bids right around the hundred thousand dollars as well as our ‘Happy Choppers’ piece which is the iconic work of choppers, military choppers with a little pink bow on top, kind of a little ironic touch and that just got a bid at $100,000 but with an estimate of $100-$150,000, we think it can even go higher at live auction.”
Auction house officials did not disclose whether they know Banksy’s exact identity, but are certain that his street art is only going to continue to rise in value over the years.
One screenprint on paper items was originally purchased for $500 and is now in auction for $25,000.
“It’s exponential the prices that we are seeing now,” said Doyle”.
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“It’s his artwork but it’s also his whole character and allure that he is this mysterious street artist that can pop up into any city and cause a frenzy and really draw attention and crowds and has become almost a figure in popular culture beyond just being an artist and obviously the art itself is very bold and easily accessible so that basically he appeals to a wide crowd and I think that being mysterious keeps that going.”
Other works sold at the auction include pieces by Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Jeff Koons, RETNA and others.
The works are now on public display for free at Julien’s Auction in Los Angeles, until Friday.
Bidding starts Saturday, April 30.