Banksy’s “Game Changer” Painting Is Set To Fetch US$5M In Charitable Auction This March
Christie’s auction house just announced that it will be offering Banksy’s Game Changer paintings in a charitable auction later this month. Headlining Christie’s 20th century art night sale on March 23, 2021, the original work is expected to raise up to $ 5 million, with all proceeds going to benefit the NHS.
The work was originally donated to Southampton General Hospital as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation to frontline workers during the world’s first wave, and according to Christie’s, a charitable auction has always been the artist’s intention for the piece. A reproduction will take the place of the original so that future patients and staff can continue to enjoy it.
“Game Changer is a universal tribute to everyone fighting on the front lines of this crisis worldwide,” said Katharine Arnold, co-director of post-war and contemporary art in Europe, in a press release. “At a time when we can dare to hope again and look at life beyond the pandemic, it is important to ponder the many symbols of strength and hope that we have seen internationally since early 2020.”
The unique painting depicts a young protagonist playing with his superhero action figure – in this case more of a nurse than a cartoon character – in a way that is meant to capture another side of the pandemic that is to focus on family, friends, loved ones and the simple joys of everyday life as you honor the frontline staff.
When originally unveiled, the work was also accompanied by a simple note from the artist that read, Thank you for everything you do. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s just black and white. And while Arnold said the original painting may no longer be in the hospital, it served its purpose – and will continue to make positive changes once it goes under the hammer.
“Banksy’s Game Changer was a beacon for the staff and patients at Southampton General Hospital, and the artist wanted it to be auctioned off with proceeds that will benefit the NHS,” Arnold said. “The work pays homage to the strength and resilience of those who have shown real leadership throughout the pandemic, the staff of our vital NHS, the true heroes of the nation.”
Would you like to learn more about the charitable auction? Be sure to check out the official Christie’s website for more information, or register to bid for the upcoming 20th century art night sale due later this month. The work will be visible to the public for the first time from the window of the Duke Street Gallery at Christie’s Headquarters in London until March 15, 2021.
See also: Banksy’s latest work of art pays homage to Covid-19 healthcare workers