Banksy’s “remix” of a Claude Monet painting will be offered at Sotheby’s upcoming sale.
Banksy, Show me the Monet, 2005. Est. £3 million–5 million ($3.8 million–6.4 million). Courtesy Sotheby’s.
Banksy’s riff on Claude Monet’s iconic Giverny paintings, Show me the Monet (2005), will be featured in Sotheby’s upcoming live-streamed auction “Modernités / Contemporary,” scheduled to take place on October 21st across the firm’s London and Paris locations. Before the sale, the painting will tour internationally, first going on view today at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries for two days. From there, it will travel to New York and Hong Kong, before returning to London for auction.
The painting features Monet’s signature lilly pond littered with empty shopping carts and a floating traffic cone. It’s part of Banksy’s “Crude Oils” series, which saw the artist “remix” canonical works by artists including Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, and Andy Warhol, among others. The series was first displayed to the public 15 years ago at an abandoned storefront, and was notable not only for the press attention it garnered for the mysterious street artist, but also for the inclusion of 164 live rats within the gallery space.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said in a statement:
Banksy has taken Monet’s iconic depiction of the Japanese bridge in the Impressionist master’s famous garden at Giverny and transformed it into a modern-day fly-tipping spot. More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies and a fluorescent orange traffic cone. Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favour of the wasteful excesses of consumerism. Recent years have seen seminal Banksys come to auction, but this is one of his strongest, and most iconic, to appear yet.
If Show me the Monet sells within its pre-sale estimate, it will be the secretive artist’s second-highest auction result ever. Last October, Sotheby’s broke his auction record when the enormous painting Devolved Parliament (2009) smashed its high estimate of £2 million ($2.4 million) to sell for £9.8 million ($12.1 million). Earlier this summer, Sotheby’s notched what is currently Banksy’s second-highest result, when his 2017 triptych Mediterranean sea view 2017 sold for £2.2 million ($2.8 million).
According to Artsy data, Banksy has been among the five most inquired-upon artists on the platform each of the past five years. Last year, following the viral stunt in late 2018 in which one of his works shredded itself during a Sotheby’s auction, the number of inquiries on Banksy’s work on Artsy surged by 27 percent.
News of the upcoming auction of Show me the Monet comes on the heels of a major legal setback for Banksy, who had sought to assert his trademark of one of his most iconic images: a protester about to throw a bouquet of flowers. His appeal to the European Union’s trademark office to prevent a greeting card company from using the image was rejected on the grounds that he had been “inconsistent with honest practices” in seeking to have his trademark enforced.