Banksy’s ‘Slave Labour’ purchased at auction by artist Ron English for $730K
LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions held its fall Street & Contemporary Art Auction last night, November 14, 2018, live at the Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills. AN energized audience of collectors and bidders took part live on the floor, online via LiveAuctioneers and on the phone. One of the most high-profile entries – Slave Labour (Bunting Boy) – created by one of the most talked-about street artists in the world, Banksy, sold for an astounding $730,000. The buyer was American contemporary artist Ron English.
The black and white aerosol on concrete piece embellished with plastic flags was executed by the elusive provocateur in May 2012 on the outer wall of a Poundland discount store in Wood Green, London. One of the most publicized and poignant examples of Banksy’s social commentary, Slave Labour helped bring international attention to the exploitation of youth as it depicts a young child on his knees at a sewing machine, diligently producing a string of Union Jack bunting. Banksy’s other works have made headlines most recently at another auction when the work shredded itself seconds after the gavel came down for £1 million.
Other Banksy’s highlights at the auction included the sale of his works, TV Girl, an Aerosol on Burger King sign, which sold for $38,400 and Applause, a 2006 screenprint on paper signed that sold for $ $19,200.
Additional highlights of the auction included the works of street art legend Jean-Michel Basquiat, Head (Portfolio I)–a 2001 screenprint on paper that sold for $87,500; and Untitled (Portrait with Crown of Thorns II) – 1981 by Basquiat, marker on paper, signed and dated in black marker lower right. Basquiat’s favorite worn black wool Comme Des Garçons coat that was in the possession of Basquiat’s last girlfriend Kelle Inman after the artist’s death in 1987 that sold for $28,125.