Last week saw several Banksy pieces being auctioned at Sotheby’s, the most expensive of which (Bomb Middle England) went for a total price of £102,000. As ever it’s led to a slew of articles entitled “Laughing all the way to the Banksy” etc. Banksy even had a full page write up in the Daily Torygraph.
Those kind of prices are fantastic for the artist and help other artists working in the same field too. They are completely irrelevant to me. Banksy’s off street work looks set to be inhabiting Tate Modern in the future and like everything else in there will be free to look at and impossible to own. Me? I’m just looking forward to seeing some new street work and I’m sure that will happen again soon because he’s sold enough “tea towells and mugs” to do some great work and must be itching to get back to the buzz of street work.
But in the meantime the playing field has changed. Work in Brighton and London has been given Perspex protection. Recently rail companies and local councils have issued graffiti removal teams with photos of Banksy’s work and told not to go over it. The challenge now will be to find the edge in graffiti when instead of being buffed his latest work will have a preservation order slapped on it by Network Rail (how the BTP must love that)! I’m looking forward to seeing whats next….