Julien’s to auction Banksy’s seminal protest artwork ‘Slave Labour’

Banksy, Slave Labour (Bunting Boy), to be auctioned Nov. 14, 2018 at Julien’s, Los Angeles. Est. $600,000-$800,000

LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions has announced that the fall edition of its semiannual Street and Contemporary Art Auction, which is set for November 14, will feature one of the most identifiable and important Banksy artworks ever to appear in the public marketplace. The auction will take place live at Julien’s Los Angeles gallery, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.

Slave Labour (Bunting Boy), a black and white aerosol on concrete piece embellished with plastic flags, was executed by Banksy in May 2012 on the outer wall of a Poundland discount store in Wood Green, London. The piece is mounted on a custom platform and is accompanied by a clear protective case.

Slave Labour depicts a young child on his knees at a sewing machine, diligently producing a string of Union Jack bunting. It is believed to have been created by Banksy as a protest against the use of sweatshops for the manufacture of souvenirs commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 upcoming Summer Olympics in 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. The artwork carries an auction estimate of $600,000-$800,000. Slave Labour is one of four Banksys entered in the November 14 auction.

Banksy is arguably the most talked-about street artist of contemporary times. His closely guarded identity known by few, Banksy made worldwide headlines recently when one of his artworks shredded itself seconds after it was auctioned in London.

“We can’t guarantee that our four Banksys will automatically shred or explode, but they will sell to the highest bidder!” said Darren Julien, president/chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions.