A new Banksy exhibition is to open in Covent Garden this Thursday, showcasing famous works including Girl With Balloon (Red) and Kate Moss.
More than £30m worth of the graffiti artist’s works will be displayed in a rare collection of Banksy’s work in the UK. The unofficial exhibition is made up of pieces owned by private collectors, with the famously elusive artist never making public appearances or giving interviews.
This March a Banksy piece entitled Game Changer raised more than £16m for NHS charities when it went under auction. It depicts a child playing with a Covid-masked NHS worker doll while Batman and Spider-Man dolls remain in their basket. His next highest-selling piece is Devolved Parliament, a vast canvas depicting the House of Commons filled with chimpanzees, which went for £9.9m.
Other top sellers include Show Me The Monet, which adds shpping trolleys and a traffic cone into a Monet-esque painting of a river, which fetched £7.55m, and Forgive Us Our Trespassing, featuring a cathedral window covered in graffiti, which sold for £6.3m.
Many of Banksy’s pieces are daubed on walls under cover of night using stencils, but more elaborate stunts include his Barely Legal show, in Los Angeles in 2006, which featured a live elephant spray painted in a pink and gold floral wallpaper pattern, which the artist said was to raise awareness of world poverty.
Many of his works have been unwittingly removed or scrubbed away, including a recent piece painted in an Underground carriage. Another piece famously “self destructed” using a hidden shredder just seconds after being sold at auction.
Bansky is thought to be the pseudonym of Bristolian Robin Gunningham, although the name has also been linked to Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett and Massive Attack member Robert Del Naja.
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