The Most Expensive Banksy Artworks Sold at Auctions
Artist(s) in Focus, Artwork(s) In Focus, Top Lists, Art Market
March 24, 2021
Not too long ago, there was a time when Banksy's art would sit at art galleries unsold or sold for a few hundred dollars at best.
But the times have changed dramatically over the last decade and there has been a series of record-breaking sales of all kinds of works by Banksy.
The growing cult following of this elusive artist and the mysteriousness shrouded around his identity makes his work to be incredibly sought after. With a loss of faith in complex investment vehicles, it appears that, as Damien Hirst once bluntly commented, "people would rather put their money into butterflies than banks”.
We take a look at the most expensive Banksy artworks that have been sold at auctions throughout the artist's career, from least to most expensive.
Find available artworks by Banksy on Widewalls marketplace!
Editors’ Tip:Banksy. You are an Acceptable Level of Threat and If You Were Not You Would Know About it
Updated 2017 edition. The single best collection of photographs of Banksy’s street work that has ever been assembled for print. If that isn’t enough there are some words too. You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat covers his entire street art career, spanning the late '90s right up to 2016. This new edition includes his groundbreaking ‘Dismaland’ show, the Calais refugee crisis wake-up, as well as new works from Gaza and Bristol. Also featuring the controversial ‘Cheltenham Spies’ in addition to ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, ‘Art Buff’ and the spectacular ‘Mobile Lovers’ which appeared outside Bristol Boys Boxing Club. 240 pages of iconic imagery from Los Angeles to Lewisham (and everywhere inbetween), including many images never before seen.
Space Girl and Bird
Banksy's artwork Space Girl and Bird, created in 2000, was part of a series of designs, commissioned by the British band Blur for the cover of their "Think Tank" album.
It is depicting a girl dressed in a Parka jacket and a deep-sea diving helmet, gazing down at the yellow bird standing on her hand, with a dripping pink heart floating above them.
This stencil painting by Banksy, made on steel using the airbrush technique, was auctioned on April 25, 2007, at the Bonhams auction house from London. It was sold to a telephone bidder from the US for the surprising price of $479,926, skyrocketing from its highest estimated value of $30,000.
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Think Tank is another piece by Banksy from 2003, a study commissioned for the Blur's album cover artwork.
This beautiful spray painting, stenciled on steel, depicts a romantic couple wearing deep-sea diving helmets, drinking wine and sitting at a restaurant table under a dripping pink colored heart.
It was auctioned at the Sotheby's in London on February 13th, 2013, and, after intense bidding, this Banksy painting was sold to an anonymous buyer for an astonishing hammer price of $516,120, fetching almost twice the highest estimated value.
For more details on this artwork, click here!
Banksy's subversive painting of Rembrandt, dated 2009, is a humorous and highly entertaining, "vandalized" reinterpretation of the old Dutch master's self-portrait with the addition of attention grabbing, stick-on googly eyes, and executed in acrylics on large canvas.
This artwork shows good old lighthearted attitude Banksy is known for but it is painted in a very different fashion than most of his works.
Banksy's Rembrandt is a practical joke aimed to question preconceptions of differences between great, classic art and modern, urban art. It was auctioned in February 2014 at the Phillips London auction house. It topped the highest estimated price by more than a hundred thousand dollars selling for the hammer price of $541,761.
See more here!
In a rather rare collaborative piece, Banksy teamed up with graffiti artist Inkie in order to cover a 10-meter-ling trailer with an interesting painting.
Silent Majority was created in 1998 (at Glastonbury Festival, no less), but it wasn’t until 2015 when it was first offered at auction - the approval of the artist’s team at Pest Control was long-awaited.
The artists approached the owners of the trailer and asked if they could paint it over. Three days later, the image was born - it depicts the era of the mid-1990s, when the free party movement was quite popular. There are seven figures, dressed as soldiers, an inflatable raft, some helicopters, and a quote saying: “It’s better not to rely too much on silent majorities.. for silence is a fragile thing…one loud noise and it’s gone.”
Of course, the graffiti bomb piece belongs to Inkie. In 2015, at Digard Paris, the piece was sold for $550,000.
See more about this artwork here!
Vandalized Phone Box
On February 14, 2008 Sotheby's from New York auctioned this Banksy's sculptural graffiti piece, dated 2005, which caused quite a stir when it first appeared on the streets in Soho, London.
Bent and broken British Telecommunications phone booth with a protruding pickaxe and blood pooling underneath it divided Londoners, sparking a passionate debate whether it is simply a case of vandalism or a piece of an artistic visual commentary.
After such a rich, though rather short history, it is no surprise that famous Vandalized Phone Booth fetched $550,000, almost doubling the highest estimated price.
See more details at the link.
The Rude Lord
The Rude Lord is a bold and funny oil on canvas painting done in an old master style.
Taken from an 18th-century portrait by the English painter Thomas Beach, it is another great example where Banksy has corrupted traditional painting in the manner of the previously mentioned Rembrandt portrait subversion.
The original portrait is provocatively altered to include a hand casually showing a rude gesture of raised middle finger.
It was auctioned in original artist's frame during the Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on 12th October 2007. The painting, dated 2006, was sold for the Hammer price of $550,314, exceeding its estimated price of around $400,000.
More on the subject here.
Untitled (Fuck The Police), 2000
Throughout his career, Banksy's relationship with law enforcement has been understandably difficult. A striking early example of what would become Banksy's most iconic motifs, Untitled (Fuck The Police) from 2000 shows a tense police officer who has drawn his baton set against a stark white background. "Fuck the police" is written in crude red letters on the wall behind him. Rendered in a simple but effective way, the image possesses a visual immediacy and clean aesthetic that is key to its popularity.
This Banksy artwork was sold on October 3rd, 2019 at Bonhams London during their Post-War & Contemporary Art for $561,238.
More data on Untitled (Fuck The Police) here!
Auctioned by Sotheby's London during Contemporary Art Day Auction on March, 8th, 2018, the work's highest estimated price was $349,728 but it reached the hammer price of amazing $587,544.
This playful work is stenciled in the act of a dynamic gesture, depicting a monkey in the instant before a violent explosion. Since the detonator is attached to the bananas, the monkey appears to be destroying what he needs in pursuit of what he thinks he needs. In this rather symbolic work, Banksy uses the animal which anthropomorphizes upon depiction, reminding us of close analogies between primate and human behavior.
More data on Monkey Detonator here!
Laugh Now On Palette, 2005
First appearing as a six-meter long spray painting in Brighton, Laugh Now on Palette portrays a forlorn monkey, wearing a sandwich board bearing the script “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge”. Along with the rat, the monkey is one of Banksy’s most frequently used animal figures. The artist uses animals as didactic figures in his critical social commentary, showing in caricature the nature of humankind. As Patrick Potter wrote, these images "evolved from the kind of cartoonish carnival of Banksy’s animal army to controlled irony, designed to reveal the foolishness hidden in plain view in our society’s values.”
The work was sold on November 15ht, 2019 at Sotheby's New York during their Contemporary Art Day Auction for $764,000.
More data on Laugh Now On Palette here!
For his eight-foot-tall sculpture of Happy Shopper, made of birch faced ply and cast jesmonite in 2009, Banksy took a classic female museum statue and twisted it into a grim and sarcastic, in-your-face (anti)idol of consumerism, with her head weighed down by oversized sunglasses, price tags and hands full of shopping bags.
It was sold to an anonymous bidder on February 10th, 2014, at Phillips, London auction house for a hammer price of bedazzling $689,514 (£420,000), fetching way over its highest estimated price of nearly half of million dollars.
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Mona Lisa is of course Banksy’s interpretation of one of the most familiar faces in art’s history - only in his rendition, she is stenciled, has a target on her forehead, and is holding a rocket launcher. It is dating back to 2000, a prolific period in the artist’s career which had then started to really take off. Mona Lisa then became a recurring topic for Banksy as well, perhaps most notably in 2004 when he hung one of his own versions of the painting in the Louvre, replacing the subject’s face with a yellow smiley.
The work was sold at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London in June 2019, fetching $915,013 with buyer’s premium.
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Submerged Phone Boot
Executed in 2006, Submerged Phone Boot features a quite faithful replica of the world-famous red phone booth used in the UK, emerging from the cement pavement.
Following the artist’s witt and humor, the artwork is a comment on what was once a great success and a trademark of the city - the phone booth became a part of the country’s culture and has been present in many movies, comic books and tv shows, for instance.
But where is it now?
Well, Banksy’s phone booth is in the arms of the buyer who was able to pay $960,000 for it at a Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg auction in 2014 - quite possibly after seeing it at the 2006 Barely Legal exhibition in Los Angeles - one which intended to draw attention to the legal aspects of graffiti art and was billed as a “three-day vandalized warehouse extravaganza.”
More about this artwork's auction data here!
Simple Intelligence Testing
Banksy created Simple Intelligence Testing in 2000, painting it on five pieces of canvas, together telling a story of a chimpanzee undergoing an intelligence testing and opening safes in order to find its bananas.
The story ends by this especially clever chimpanzee stacking all the safes on top of each other and escaping the laboratory through the ventilation opening on the ceiling.
Banksy executed this painting using oil on canvas and board. It was sold on February 28, 2008 during an auction at Sotheby's in London, originally breaking the record for the most expensive Banksy's piece by fetching an incredible price of $1,093,400 (or £550,000), with the highest estimated price set at "only" $300,000.
See full profile on Simple Intelligence Testing by following this link!
Girl With Balloon
Based on a mural graffiti from 2002, the Banksy's acclaimed Girl With Balloon depicts a young girl letting go of a red heart-shaped balloon. One of his most recognizable images, the piece was even voted as the voted Britain’s most popular image in 2017.
The work was offered at Sotheby's London during their Contemporary Art Evening on October 5th, 2018 and it reached the hammer price of the stunning $1,135,219, even though the highest estimate was $395,624.
However, the buyers and the audience were in for a surprise, since the piece started to self-destruct through the shredder hidden in the frame before the very eyes of the attendees. The visitors were quite surprised yet entertained and following the sale, Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, simply stated:
It appears we have just been Banksy’ed.
Shortly after, on his Instagram profile, Banksy posted the photograph of the incident with the caption "Going, going, gone..."
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Vote To Love, 2018
Banksy’s Vote to Love from 2018 is an altered "Vote to Leave" placard in which the “o” of love has been replaced by a heart-shaped balloon patched up with crisscrossed plasters. The balloon appears as if it drifted in front of the placard's slogan, altering the word "leave" to "love". To create the work, Banksy defaced a found "Vote to Leave" placard from the UK’s 2016 Brexit campaign, led by UKIP’s then-leader, Nigel Farage. With its striking simplicity and raw immediacy, Vote to Love offers a message of optimism at a time of increasing divisiveness in global politics.
The work was sold on February 2nd, 2020 at Sotheby's London during their Contemporary Art Evening Auction for $1,241,583.
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Keep it Spotless
With the highest estimated price set at $350,000 and the hammer price of mind-boggling $1,700,000, Keep it Spotless is the silver medalist of this list.
Auctioned on February 14th, 2008, during the Sotheby's Charity auction in New York, the amount of money paid for this piece of urban art caught everyone by surprise, making it the most expensive Banksy ever sold.
Executed in spray paint and household gloss on canvas Banksy's Keep it Spotless, created in 2007, was originally Damien Hirst painting which was defaced by Banksy.
It depicts a spray-painted Los Angeles hotel maid Leanne who is pulling up Hirst's piece to sweep under the painting.
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Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn't still own it.
This is what Banksy himself commented on the news which broke yesterday at Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction in London - the artist’s Devolved Parliament was sold for $12,142,893, breaking his previous record multiple times. Should we also add that the painting was estimated at $2 million?
While the price might be, well, exaggerated like the rest of the art market prices these days, the fact that the painting sold and made headlines really isn’t that surprising. First of all - it’s Banksy, and even the most banal thing he does will end up written about a lot. Secondly, Devolved Parliament is the hot topic nowadays, and for a Britain in turmoil especially. This 250 by 420 cm oil on canvas depicts the House of Commons filled with chimpanzees in a state of madness. The work was exhibited in Banksy versus Bristol Museum exhibition in 2009, the same year it was made, and it would appear that its poignant commentary is more relevant now than it even was then.
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Love is in the Air
You were bound to see this Banksy artwork sometime in your life, as it is one of his most recognizable ones. Titled Love is in the Air, it sees a male-appearing figure in the archetypal pose of civic unrest, but instead of throwing a brick, he is about to throw a bouquet of flowers. A trademark social commentary advocating for peace, the work was notably on the cover of Banksy's 2005 monograph, Wall and Piece.
Estimated at $3/5 million, Love is in the Air was sold at Sotheby's New York in May 2021 for $12,903,000. The lot accepted cryptocurrency payment through a partnership between Sotheby’s and Coinbase Commerce, meaning that the hammer price could be paid in either bitcoin or ethereum.
Featured image: Banksy - Love is in the Air, 2006. Oil and spray paint on canvas, 35 33/8 by 36 3/8 in. (90 by 90 cm). Courtesy Sotheby's.
In May 2020, an artwork appeared on the wall of the University Hospital Southampton. It looked familiar - could it be Banksy?!
Indeed it was. The elusive street artist painted a picture of a young boy playing with dolls, but while Batman and Spiderman were still in the toy basket, the protagonist and the boy's center of attention was a nurse. Banksy, hence, created a heartfelt thank-you to the NHS staff during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The artist even received special permission to use the iconic Red Cross logo in the work, a request this organization rarely grants. When first unveiled, the picture was accompanied by a note saying: "Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white."
And while a reproduction of the work remains in University Hospital Southampton, the original of the Game Changer was auctioned off at Christie's 20th Century Art Evening Sale on March 23, 2021 - selling for $23,176,314 and becoming Banksy's most expensive artwork ever sold in auction.
Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be used to support health organizations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS. Christie’s will donate a significant portion of the Buyer’s Premium to these causes.
For all most expensive Banksy artworks in auctions, be sure to visit this page!
Editors’ Tip:Planet Banksy: The Man, His Work and the Movement He Has Inspired
Banksy is the world's foremost graffiti artist, his work adorning streets, walls, and bridges across nations and continents. His stencil designs are instantly recognizable and disturbingly precise in their social and political commentary, flavored with subtle humor and self-awareness. More popular than ever, Banksy has spawned countless imitators, students, and fans alike, his fame—although unlooked-for—inevitably transmitting his ideas and work to the international arena. Highlighting both the relevance of Banksy's work and how his impact has continued to spread, this book brings together some of the very best pieces of art from all corners of the world that have been inspired by Banksy, as well as some of Banksy's own innovative, profound, and controversial work. Showcasing graffiti with a range of topics and coming from a variety of inspirational sources, this book provides an overview of how the man's work is changing the face of modern art, as well as that of the urban landscape.
Featured image: Banksy - Game Changer, 2020. Oil on canvas, 35 7/8 x 35 7/8 in (91 x 91 cm). Courtesy Christie's.
Di Faced Tenner, a Fake £10 Note by Banksy at Dane Fine Art
The Fascinating History Behind Banksy’s Fake £10 Note: the Di-Faced Tenner
London’s famous Notting Hill Carnival became even more famous in 2004 when someone ran into the crowd, threw what appeared to be a big chunk of money into the air, and ran off. Curious carnival-goers naturally descended on the unexpected windfall. They grabbed as many 10-pound notes as they could and ran off to spend the money at carnival shops.
Unfortunately, what they tried to spend was not real money. It was art.
Created and printed by the notorious street artist Banksy, the Di Faced Tenner spoofed real £10 notes. His representation replaced the “Bank of England” words with “Banksy of England”. He also put a picture of Princess Diana’s head on the notes instead of Queen Elizabeth II. Replacing Queen Elizabeth II with Lady Diana alluded to the name given by the British press to Diana when she was alive–“the people’s princess”.
An inscription on the front of the note says, “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the ultimate price”. The changed motto under Charles Darwin’s portrait on the back of each note proclaimed, “Trust No One”.
More Di Faced Tenner notes later turned up at the Reading Festival and London Art Exhibition. After the initial introduction of his latest artwork, Banksy or a representative of Banksy told the press that “Di faced” was an alternative version of the word “defaced” meant to indicate they were counterfeit notes.
As an attention-grabbing approach to what Banksy saw as capitalism at its worst, the Di-Faced Tenner notes were thrown into the air. The act of throwing Di-Faced Tenner notes was meant to emphasize how easily people could be manipulated with money “falling from the sky”.
Although Banksy’s counterfeit money art was worth nothing when introduced to the public, its value significantly increased once he admitted to being the artist behind the hoax.
The Story Behind Di Faced Tenner and the British Museum
London’s British Museum is home to nearly nine million works of art and considered one of the most comprehensive museums in the world. But it became the victim of yet another one of Banksy’s playful deceptions when he secretly placed fake artwork in the museum soon after the Di Faced Tenner event.
However, the British Museum did not hold a grudge because they added Banksy art to its galleries in 2019. If you visit the British Museum today, you will find Di Faced Tenner notes in the museum’s collection of real paper money and coins. These notes were graciously donated by Banksy himself.
How to Spot a Genuine Di Faced Tenner
About 100,000 Di Faced Tenner £10 notes are thought to have been printed in 2004. However, nobody including Banksy himself, knows exactly how many were printed. One thing is for sure though, Banksy’s Di Faced Tenner notes are worth much, much more than the paper they were printed on.
Before you purchase a Di Faced Tenner, look for the following signs of authenticity:
- “Banksy of England” replaces “Bank of England”.
- Princess Diana’s face replaces Queen Elizabeth II’s face.
- Charles Darwin’s image remains on the back. Underneath should be the words “Trust No One”.
- Printed on the front of the note should be the words “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the ultimate price”.
- Authentic Di Faced Tenner notes should measure 5 4⁄5 x 3 inches (7.62 x 14.61 cm). Anything smaller or larger indicates a fake note.
- Banksy printed his Di Faced Tenner notes on light-weight paper, like the kind of paper real money is printed on. Notes printed on heavy, thick, “museum-grade” paper are fake.
- A Di Faced Tenner note that is accompanied by a COA issued by Banksy’s former agent Steven Lazarides is genuine. Lazarides’ certificates of authenticity have a hologram that should match the Di Faced Tenner it comes with
Be Very Careful About the Di Faced Tenner Note You Buy
When you purchase a Di Faced Tenner note from Dane Fine Art, you can be sure you are receiving a Banksy original first produced in 2004. Call Dane Fine Art today to learn more about our collection of Tenner notes.
Di Faced Tenners Banksy
At least 100,000 Di Faced Tenners were printed by Banksy in August 2004 – in total £1,000,000 in fake currency. Banksy created them for a public art stunt which involved dropping a suitcase full of the fake tenners into the crowd at the Notting Hill Carnival and at the Reading Festival. Some of these counterfeit notes were used by festival-goers as actual currency.
Unlike American artist J.S. Boggs, who is famous for his hand-drawn depictions of notes, Banksy was never wanted for any counterfeiting charges. A suitcase with Di Faced Tenners was also exhibited at Santa’s Ghetto, a show held at Charing Cross Road in December 2004. In his film Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy explains how he forged around £100,000,000 of notes – nearly all of which are supposedly still in his possession.
Banksy's project was a protest. It allowed him to demonstrate how people acted when there seemed to be money falling from the heavens. Though they clearly appeared as counterfeit notes, people tried to use them. Of course, ironically, once Banksy's hoax was revealed, the value of each tenner rapidly increased.
Now in large circulation, there are an estimated 100,000 authentic unsigned notes produced by Banksy as well as a huge amount of fake copies sold online by people pretending to have been at either Notting Hill Carnival or Reading Festival back in 2004. In order to authenticate the tenner, Pest Control keeps the other half of the Di Faced Tenner and staples it to the certificate of authentication.
Why is Di Faced Tenner important?
Di Faced Tenner is a commentary on the value of money and the value people place on it. The stunt quickly became one of Banksy’s most notorious art projects. In February 2019, more than a decade after Banksy clandestinely stuck a fake artwork in one of its galleries, the British Museum officially added its first piece by Banksy. In an ironic twist, Di Faced Tenner has joined the institution's collection of coins, medals and paper money.
Read our 10 Things To Know About Banksy’s Di-Faced Tenner
How do I buy a Di Faced Tenner?
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of buying work by Banksy is by using us to reach a seller. MyArtBroker is a curated site, meaning we feature artists that our collectors say they want. You can find Banksy art for sale here. You’ll need to create a free account to buy or sell with us.
How can I sell my Di Faced Tenner?
If you're looking to sell art by Banksy, click the link and we can help. We employ a number of techniques and practices in order to give a realistic and achievable valuation on any art listed on myartbroker.com. We analyse the demand for the work in question, take into consideration previous sales and auction valuations, we assess the current gallery valuation and monitor the current deals taking place via MyArtBroker every day. We regularly advise sellers on a price bracket for their artwork completely free of charge.
Fuck me in the ass. And he drives his dick deeper and deeper. Oh, how sweet.
Bill price banksy
Pleasure and looking at him I started to flow. I think I gave up. I got up a little and threw my head back, leaning on my hands. Oleg went down a little lower, pulled up his panties and began to suck on my clitoris. I began to moan a little and bite my lower lip.Banksy's 10 Most Amazing Works Of Art!
And then, shes good, shes still the damn thing. Okay, dont get hot, drove, you often go with your boss. Two, three times a week.
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For some reason I asked. With whom. With these village drunks. Those who are on the ceiling have been tidied up long ago. Such, like you, we have rare guests.