Neal Auction to offer original Banksy in July 13-14 sale
NEW ORLEANS – Neal Auction Company is pleased to announce the inclusion of a contemporary work by the highly controversial British street artist Banksy within its July 13 & 14, 2013 Summer Estates Auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide the Internet live bidding for the sale.
Banksy is an artist who has developed a distinct style of graffiti that combines appropriated imagery from a variety of sources and media with social commentary. He has executed murals on buildings in locations as diverse as London, Melbourne and New Orleans. “Banksy’s work polarises opinion: people really do love it and hate it in equal measure… To his fans, he’s the cunning voice of dissent, staking the claim of the individual in a media-obsessed capitalist society…Where many street artists simply put forward their surreal messages in a ‘take it or leave it’ fashion without presenting any discourse with their work, Banksy offers some form of critical opinion time and time again.”[ii]
Banksy executes his art on public buildings, private buildings, and other kinds of structures and surfaces. Although Banksy originally used free-hand processes to spray his murals, he turned to stencils as a way of getting his images on the wall quickly before he could be stopped. His images are drawn or printed onto sheets of cardboard or acetate and painstakingly cut, as they are quite complex in their linear details.
Banksy made an appearance in New Orleans exactly three years after Hurricane Katrina struck the city in August of 2005 and “tagged” a dozen or so walls with his art and social commentary. After the visit, Keith Spera, from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, wrote: “If clandestine British artist Banksy ever returns to New Orleans, I’m going to wrap my house in canvas, set his favorite snack on the front porch and hope that, like Santa Claus, he shows up in the middle of the night bearing gifts… Any little doodle will do.”[iii] Spera’s wish came true, but not for Spera. In 2008, after painting the notorious mural (now destroyed) of a homeless Abraham Lincoln on a wall located at the intersection of Cleveland and South Derbigny, Banksy created a smaller, portrait size version of Lincoln on cardboard and gave it to his friend, Neal Auction Company’s consignor.
A certificate of authenticity was issued by Pest Control, Banksy’s art world proxy, for the “Abe Lincoln” painting being offered at Neal Auction Company. Acting on behalf of the artist, Pest Control is charged with authenticating Banksy works. According to Corbett: “as a rule, Pest Control refuses to evaluate any Banksy works that have been ‘removed from their original context.’”[iv]
Neal Auction Company’s “Abe Lincoln” is a non-site-specific painting on cardboard which incorporates the stencil the artist used for the New Orleans “Homeless Abe” mural. “Abe Lincoln” is being offered at Neal Auction Company on July 13, 2013 as lot 353 with an auction estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.
Neal Alford, president of Neal Auction Company, is excited by the prospect of selling a work by an artist he admires on many levels, and says: “I cannot think of a better example of a Banksy work to sell in New Orleans than a portrait of ‘Abe Lincoln.’”
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[ii] Lewison, Cedar. StreetArt, London, 2008, p.117.
[iii] Spera, Keith. “A Visit from a World-Famous Graffiti Artist was the Equivalent of Money in the Banksy,” The Times Picayune, September 21, 2008.
[iv] Corbett, Rachel. “Galleries Defend Controversial Banksy Show,” Artnet News, online available: http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/news/corbett/keszler-gallery-on-banksy-controversy-9-1-11.asp)
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