Banksy is known for his politically charged and socially conscious works, often commenting on topics such as war, consumerism, and government surveillance. Despite his controversial subject matter, Banksy has managed to gain widespread acclaim and has exhibited his work in major museums and galleries around the world. Now, we bring you the top ten auction results for Banksy.
Today, he remains one of the most influential and enigmatic figures in the art world. Recently, some of Banksy’s most famous pieces have sold for millions of pounds, including “Love Is In The Bin,” “Game Changer,” and “Devolved Parliament.” These sales have further attested to the immense value and appeal of Banksy’s work, which uses humour and irony to highlight important global concerns.
Interestingly, some of these sales have also made history, such as the sale of “Love Is In The Air,” which was the first physical artwork to be auctioned with the option to pay in Bitcoin, Ether, or US dollars.
Here, we present to you the top ten auction results for Banksy. Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips have auctioned some of Banksy’s most famous pieces to date, and we have compiled the most impressive results for you. These auction results demonstrate the immense value and appeal of Banksy’s work, which uses humour and irony to highlight important global concerns.
NUMBER 1/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
On 14th October 2021, Banksy’s artwork “Love Is In The Bin” was sold at Sotheby’s for an astonishing £18.6M. This piece of art gained significant attention in 2018 when Banksy’s Girl with Balloon artwork “self-destructed” after the winning bid of £1,042,000 was hammered down at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Banksy had embedded a shredding mechanism into the ornate frame, which shredded the canvas into neatly cut strips. The shredded canvas became a cultural phenomenon, increasing Banksy’s Instagram followers by 1 million overnight. Sotheby’s was left to respond to endless press inquiries, stating that they had been “Banksy-ed.” The successful bidder decided to keep the artwork, realizing the event’s significance and that they now owned a piece of art history. The resale of this piece for £18.6M further attests to the immense value and appeal of Banksy’s work.
NUMBER 2/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
The sale of “Game Changer” for £16.8M on March 23, 2021, made headlines! The famous artwork by Banksy features a young child playing with a superhero nurse instead of Batman and Spiderman. Originally displayed at University Hospital Southampton during the COVID pandemic, the painting now supports healthcare workers and organizations across the UK through the auction proceeds. The painting offers hope and nostalgia while also looking towards the future.
NUMBER 3/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
On November 9th, 2021, a significant piece of art called “Sunflowers from Petrol Station” was sold at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale in New York for US$14.5 million (£10.7 million). The painting named Sunflowers from Petrol Station, which was once owned by the renowned British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, is said to be a Banksy masterpiece. It is a clever reinterpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, portraying the Dutch artist’s vibrant yellow blooms as a cluster of dried and withered stems. The artwork was showcased in Banksy’s influential exhibition Crude Oils in 2005, which featured several of the artist’s reworkings of famous art pieces. Sunflowers from Petrol Station is a rare and exquisitely crafted example of Banksy’s highly sought-after hand-painted oils, showcasing his exceptional painting skills and his ability to deliver satirical messages with sharp wit. Through the depiction of wilted petrol station flowers, the artist highlights the negative effects of consumerism on both art and nature.
NUMBER 4/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
“Devolved Parliament,” Banksy’s largest attributed oil painting, is a satirical masterpiece that depicts chaos in the British Parliament caused by chimpanzees. Originally titled “Question Time,” the painting was exhibited in the groundbreaking Banksy versus Bristol Museum exhibition at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in 2009 and attracted over 300,000 visitors. The painting has been subtly adjusted over time by the artist, such as snuffing out the lamps in the House of Commons while the upturned banana of an ape in the foreground now faces downwards. Recently, it was exhibited under this new title at the Bristol Museum just before the originally intended Brexit Day of March 29th. With the repeated deferral of Brexit, Banksy’s prophetic and sardonically humorous artwork remains just as relevant today. In 2019, the artwork gained renewed attention when it was sold by Sotheby’s for a record-breaking $12.1 million. After the sale, Banksy commented on his Instagram, “Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it.“
NUMBER 5/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
Love Is In The Air was sold at a New York auction for US$ 12.9 million (£9.2million). What made this sale unique was the fact that it was the first time a physical artwork was auctioned with the option to pay in Bitcoin, ether, or US dollars. Despite being estimated to be worth US$ 3-5 million, the canvas fetched a much higher price. Interestingly, it was later revealed that the payment for the painting was made in cryptocurrency. The acceptance of Bitcoin and Ether as legitimate remittances was part of a collaboration between the auction house and Coinbase – one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Created as a guerrilla street art piece in Beit Sahour, near the West Bank Barrier, the image’s impact extends far beyond its origins. By combining the contrasting symbols of a Flower Bouquet and an active protest gesture, Banksy conveys a powerful anti-war sentiment. The echoes of the flower power and student protests of the 60s in France and America add depth to the work’s message. Ultimately, Banksy’s iconic image reminds us that peace is essential to overcoming division and conflict and moving towards a brighter future.
NUMBER 6/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
“Banksquiat. Boy and Dog in Stop and Search” canvas (2018) was sold at the Phillips New York auction on May 17, 2023, for USD 9,724,500. In 2017, Banksy secretly visited Central London to create a black-and-white stencil artwork that paid tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting of a ‘Boy and a dog in a Johnnypump, being searched by police officers. The timing of the artwork’s creation coincided with the opening of Basquiat’s first comprehensive exhibition in the UK since his death in 1988 at the Barbican Basquiat: Boom for Real, London. The artwork serves as a poignant reminder of the disproportionate treatment of Black people by law enforcement in both the US and the UK, which includes unjustified frisking, violent or threatening behaviour, and higher incarceration rates compared to other racial or ethnic groups. Additionally, the piece also comments on the commodification and privilege of contemporary art.
NUMBER 7/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
At Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on October 21, 2020, Show Me The Monet by Banksy was sold for £7,551,600. Show Me the Monet is an impressive artwork that solidified Banksy’s reputation as a bold and thought-provoking social commentator of our time. It is a rare, hand-painted canvas acquired by the current owners from Banksy’s 2005 exhibition Crude Oils: A Gallery of Re-mixed Masterpieces, Vandalism and Vermin. Banksy cleverly reimagines an iconic image from Western art history, delivering a witty commentary on contemporary issues. The painting features fly tipping of an orange traffic cone and a textured shopping trolley, disrupting the romanticised nature of Monet’s famous Impressionist masterpiece and creating a modern-day dumping ground. Show Me the Monet was showcased at the Museum Jorn in Denmark as part of the From Jorn to Banksy – The Art of Détournement exhibit, shown alongside some of the most critically acclaimed artists of the last century, such as Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters and Joan Miró,
“The vandalised paintings reflect life as it is now. We don’t live in a world like Constable’s Haywain anymore and, if you do, there is probably a travellers’ camp on the other side of the hill. The real damage done to our environment is not done by graffiti writers and drunken teenagers, but by big business… exactly the people who put gold-framed pictures of landscapes on their walls and try to tell the rest of us how to behave.” Banksy
NUMBER 8/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
An artwork by Banksy named Forgive Us Our Trespassing was recently sold for HK$64.1 million (£6.3 million) at an auction conducted by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on October 4, 2020. In 2011, Banksy created a seven-meter-tall work of art called Forgive Us Our Trespassing, recognised as the largest piece by the anonymous street artist. The artwork depicts a kneeling boy named Forgive Us Our Trespassing, first seen in 2010 on a wall in Salt Lake City. Over 100 students from grades 6 to 9 at the City of Angels School worked on the project, which aimed to inspire children to create art. The students helped to tag the stained glass windows, which is a central part of street art and graffiti culture. The artwork reflects Banksy’s conflicting emotions about being a graffiti artist and the deep concerns and pathos that underlie his artistic production. Although the work asks for forgiveness, it also conveys that Banksy is a powerful and thought-provoking piece.
NUMBER 9/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
A 2006 edition of Banksy’s Love Is In The Air, conveys Banksy’s message of promoting peace over violence. The canvas was sold at Sotheby’s The Now Evening Auction in New York on November 18, 2021 for an impressive US$8.1 million (£6 million). Created as a guerrilla street art piece in Beit Sahour, near the West Bank Barrier, the image’s impact extends far beyond its origins. By combining the contrasting symbols of a Flower Bouquet and an active protest gesture, Banksy conveys a powerful anti-war sentiment. The echoes of the flower power and student protests of the 60s in France and America add depth to the work’s message. Ultimately, Banksy’s iconic image reminds us that peace is essential to overcoming division and conflict and moving towards a brighter future.
NUMBER 10/10 Auction Results for BANKSY
Banksy’s “Subject to Availability” is a clever and timely work in his series of vandalized oil paintings. The piece takes an 1890 painting of Mount Rainier by Albert Bierstadt and adds an asterisk with the caption “*subject to availability for a limited period only.” The work highlights the recurring theme of environmental destruction and mocks climate change deniers with the sinking words “I don’t believe in global warming” painted into the Regent’s Canal in North London. “Subject to Availability” is a cautionary tale that taps into the heart of Banksy’s practice, reminding us that as we continue to consume and degrade the landscape, we are the true vandals. The painting was sold at Christie’s in London on June 30, 2021, for nearly £4.6 million.
Banksy’s work sells for millions due to his unique and groundbreaking approach to street art, as well as his ability to create thought-provoking and often controversial pieces that resonate with people around the world. His anonymity and mysterious persona have also contributed to his popularity and the high demand for his work in the art market.
Discover our impressive collection of Banksy artworks available on our website here. If you cannot find a particular Banksy piece, our team is delighted to support you. With our vast knowledge and network of collectors, we can assist you in locating that elusive artwork you have been seeking.
Photo credit Banksy at Sotheby’s, Phillip’s and Christie’s Auction Houses.