An Oil Painting Banksy ‘Vandalized’ with a Comment on Climate Change Will Highlight Christie’s June Sales
A 2009 Banksy painting will be a highlight of Christie’s June sales. The painting, which came from a series of oil paintings “destroyed” by the artist, is valued at £ 3 to 5 million ($ 4 to 6.9 million).
Called Subject to availabilityThe work is a Banksy intervention on an 1890 version of an oil painting of Mount Rainier National Park by Albert Bierstadt, who was a member of the Hudson River School. The street artist added an asterisk to his own version of the idyllic landscape painting, which reads, “Subject to availability for a limited time.” The work, shown in the artist’s iconic exhibition at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, becomes one the high point of 20th century Christie’s sales will be in London on June 30th.
“Banksy’s witty dialogue with the art-historical canon brings the painting sharply into the current context of the global climate crisis,” Katharine Arnold, co-director of the House of Post-War and Contemporary Art, told Artnet News. Like Banksy, who did poignant work on industrial pollution, Bierstadt was also concerned about the climate and had campaigned against the destruction of nature during the industrial revolution.
Arnold adds that the work also has a prophetic dimension: “Ten years after its creation, the idyllic park depicted has been closed to the public since February 2020 due to severe floods and landslides.”
The lot is worth seeing as it was included in the artist’s landmark exhibition Banksy versus Bristol Museum in 2009, where the artist added 100 works to the gallery’s permanent collections. The exhibition was a historic and much-visited cultural moment for the hometown of the street artist. It remains the only full museum exhibit authorized by the artist that has made a point since then distances itself from a flood of unauthorized museum exhibitions.
Other works included in the exhibition have fetched high prices at auctions. The artists Painting of monkeys in parliament, Decentralized parliament, also from 2009, was sold at Sotheby’s London for £ 9.9m (US $ 13.5m) in 2019, setting a record for the artist. (The record was recently broken when a painting the artist painted for the NHS went on sale at Christie’s for £ 16.8 million ($ 23 million) to charity this March.) Another piece from the “Vandalized” series that was also featured on the Bristol Museum Show, a version of Rembrandts Self-portrait at the age of 63 The street performer added a pair of googly eyes, which sold at Phillips for £ 398,000 ($ 546,091) in 2014.
Subject to Availability has been in the same collection since 2010 and was purchased directly from the artist by the owner. A third party guarantee is provided. It runs through May 7 as part of the Off the Wall: Basquiat to Banksy exhibition in Christie’s King Street, along with 49 street art and graffiti, including works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf and Os Gemeos .
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Do you want to be one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news, insightful interviews, and succinct critical attitudes that’ll keep the conversation moving.