Tuesday, September 26, 2006

collector's notes: banksy prints

six prints were available at the friday opening (9.15.6) of banksy's barely legal show in la earlier this month and quickly sold out. the prints are based on the following paintings: applause, festival, grannies, i can't believe, sale ends today, and trolley hunters.

for the most part, the prints were true to the paintings. trolley hunters was an exception.
the print is missing the blue sky and the yellow of the field.

100 of each print were sold in la. edition of 500. not clear where the other 400 are. you basically had to be there at noon when it opened (on friday) and stand in line for an hour to get a print. or, be invited to one of the previews (about half sold at the previews).

the prints were unsigned (not uncommon with banksy), 2-4 color silkscreen (i think) on good paper, $500 a piece, one of each print, per person, maximum.

as noted in an earlier posting, the nyt cited the $500 price as evidence that banksy was no longer a rebel (missing the fact that the original work was selling, to celebrities, for six-figures).

and, as it turns out, $500/each was a good deal for the prints. how good is still unclear.

grannies - my favorite print - sold (buy it now) for $1500 on 9.15.6.
on 9.21.6, grannies closed with 24 bids at $2550.

i put together a handy chart showing all sales to date.

as i write this, festival, with 4 hours to go, has 9 bids and is at $810. and sale ends today has 4 days left, 5 bids and is at $750.

interestingly, banksy's kate moss print, in edition of 20, recently sold (buy it now) for a little over $17,000.
banksy.kate moss on ebay.jpg

the seller's case for this price was "in years to come these are sure to be on a par with the original warhol marilyn interpretation - originals of which fetch 6 figure sums (and they were in editions of 250!!) most of the "kates" were sold in sets of 6 to famous artists and collectors and very few singles were ever sold. an a/p (artist proof) recently sold at a london gallery for £14k...."

i don't know about that. the kate moss image is too much of a take off of warhol. i know the art world loves referential art, but think that banksy's more clever street work, on canvas or silkscreen, has the better claim to being the signature piece.

the most iconic, for me, that i have seen as a print is the boy throwing the flowers.

i think it was an adbusters cover. banksy has used it a lot. the girl hugging the bomb, the military helicopters, and the girl with the heart balloon would all be contenders (the girl with the heart balloon was shown, on a wall, in woody allen's match point).

i think banksy has a shot at being warhol's peer. the press loves banksy and the art world responds to press. his star is rising much more than it is falling. i have already said i think banksy will make it into the art history books. six figures for a 5 color silkscreen print seems highly unlikely to me. but who knows?

at some point, the price of art disengages from the reality of its creation. banksy is there.

if i ran an art investment fund, i would have been at the preview and purchased one or two good original banksy's at the extraordinary price. it would be a good value given banksy's trajectory. but those folks probably don't get to hang the art on the wall and enjoy the investment.

logic suggests that the prints are a reasonable value at the current ebay prices. some risk. the prices are high - shepard fairy still sells signed screen prints for around $30. the collector base may exhaust itself. who knows? of course, a much better investment if purchased at the show.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved the info but wanted to add my six pennies.

Some people have been talking about how Banksy must be making a mint out of all of this?

By "all of this", we mean the hype and the sales of his prints.

I think not! It seems to me that he never actually went out to get into the spotlight. The spotlight found him.

He is undoubtably one of the most genious self promoting artists of our time but this is purely on our part.

Every blog or website talking about him gives google something to sink it's teeth into and food for the print sellers.

I see nothing wrong with people selling off his prints but with recent fakes coming to light through POW, can we be sure of a bargain or a rip-off?

A new kind of Banksy art has show it's head recently.

The Banksy print sellers on canvas. These are photographs of his work (totally legal) that are printed onto canvas or other substrate. One such company is Four Blank Walls. that sells his works on canvas or perspex for about £80.00.

Whilst some would say that this is not on; why can we all not have a banksy for a fiver?

Banksy is the new hype at the moment and there seems to be no slowing down. Whatever we buy, it doesn't really matter as long as we enjoy it.