The Palms Hotel Casino Resort in Las Vegas recently unveiled its sky suite designed by Damien Hirst, which is not only the most expensive rooming accommodations in the world, but also an over-the-top Hirstean masterpiece. This came after it installed the giant Hirst dead shark sculpture above a bar and acquired a 60-foot-tall Hirst sculpture to install between the two hotel towers. The lobby’s upscale brasserie has important works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Already, the art collection at the Palms could rival any other hotel trove in Las Vegas.
But the hotel and casino complex, which is owned by the art-collecting brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, had one more acquisition to reveal. On Monday, the Palms announced that the centerpiece of its street art-themed lobby restaurant is Smiley Coppers Panel I, a 2002 spray paint work by the elusive British artist Banksy. It will be the first permanently installed Banksy work in Las Vegas.
The work—which depicts two gun-toting policemen with yellow smiley faces for heads—was part of a selling exhibition of a single collector’s 27 Banksy works at Phillips Hong Kong last November. The sale was staged after the artist’s audacious stunt at Sotheby’s in London, where one of his paintings shredded itself immediately after it was sold. No estimate was given for Smiley Coppers Panel I, but Phillips said that the top range for the selling exhibition was $3 million.
The Banksy is housed in an eatery called Greene St. Kitchen, which will also have work by famed street artists such as Kenny Scharf, Cleon Peterson, and Vhils. “You can spend all day in there and think you catch everything and the next day you find something new,” the creative director at the Palms, Tal Cooperman, said in a statement.
The restaurant’s facade resembles a downtown New York city block, and its name comes from the thoroughfare in SoHo that was perhaps, for a time, the art scene’s most important. Greene Street housed a number of galleries pivotal to their moments, such as 112 Greene Street in the 1970s, Metro Pictures in the 1980s, and David Zwirner in the 1990s.