20 times after shredding! The price manipulation is also genius… Tracking the “price” of the works of Banksy, a masked artist who appears and disappears from the world. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

20 times after shredding! The price manipulation is also genius… Tracking the “price” of the works of Banksy, a masked artist who appears and disappears from the world.

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128 million yen work, “The Balloon and the Girl,” 20 times more than 2.7 billion yen after shredding

Banksy is an unidentified artist who appears in various parts of the world and paints graffiti with social satire and political messages on street corners and building walls in a guerrilla-like fashion. Every time he releases a new work, it becomes a topic of conversation, but what exactly are his works? We asked Yoshiro Takahashi, representative of Suiba Gallery (Kyobashi, Tokyo), which mainly deals in modern French paintings and contemporary art.

The shredding incident that occurred at the Sotheby’s London auction in October 2006. This unprecedented event in the history of art made Banksy’s name widely known in Japan.

As soon as Banksy’s “The Balloon and the Girl,” depicting a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon blown by the wind, was sold, a shredder in the frame activated and shredded the lower half of the work. The winning bid at that time was 860,000 pounds. The winning bid at the time was 860,000 pounds, or about 128 million Japanese yen.

Sotheby’s claimed that they were unaware of the trick, but it was impossible for them not to be aware of it, since the work was removed from its frame and inspected before the auction. They probably knew about it. In any case, I think this was a performance planned by Banksy to question the value of art.

The shredding incident was reported around the world and became a major story. The shredding incident was reported all over the world, and the price of Banksy’s work rose even higher in ’18 and ’19.

Balloon and Girl,” the lower half of which had been shredded, was later retitled “Love is in the Dustbin” and put up for auction again.

It was sold at Sotheby’s in October of ’21 for 16 million pounds, or about 2.7 billion Japanese yen, a jump of about 20 times from its original price of 860,000 pounds. This work is the current Banksy auction record.

Mr. Takahashi’s gallery also sells Banksy’s works. I wonder what the price is.

In Japan, before the Corona disaster, you could buy a Banksy for 5 or 6 million yen. But the COVID-19 crisis has caused the price to rise rapidly, and even small prints are now being sold for close to 10 million yen.

The price is not something that the average person can afford without hesitation, but it is not completely out of reach either. ……

Banksy’s iconic work “The Balloon and the Girl,” which caused a worldwide stir when it was cut up at an auction site, has since been retitled “Love is in the Dustbin.

Meet Brad Pitt’s former manager and an art bubble for more!

Banksy was born in Bristol, a port city in western England. He began his career as a street artist in the early 1990s, painting on the walls of buildings in the city freehand or using a technique called “stencil,” which involves spraying stencils on stencils.

Banksy eventually turned his wall paintings into canvas and print works, which he began selling at small grocery stores and record stores around ’00. According to my knowledge from reading books, each piece cost about 100 pounds, which would be about $16,000.”

The mural depicting a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at a policeman is meant as a resistance to authority. An early work painted freehand on the wall of a building in his hometown of Bristol.

How did he go from being a street-based graffiti artist to being recognized by the public?

In general, a painter comes to prominence when he catches the eye of an art dealer and exhibits his work at an art gallery. In the case of Banksy, he did not go through this process. Banksy did not go through this process. He became well-known by painting on walls, which is a street artist’s style.

From the late 1990s, Banksy had a manager. Banksy has had a manager since the late 1990s, and in 2006 he met the man who is now his manager. That year, a solo exhibition of Banksy’s work was held in Los Angeles. Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited the exhibition with him, and it is said that they purchased three of his works for 42 million yen. The woman who was Brad Pitt’s manager at that time is now Banksy’s manager.

The year 2006 was a major turning point for Banksy, according to Mr. Takahashi. The year 2006 was a turning point for Banksy, according to Takahashi, because after a new manager was appointed, Banksy made an even greater leap forward.

The years before the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008 were known as an art bubble, when the price of contemporary art soared worldwide. The same is true of Banksy’s works. A person who bought one of his paintings for 100 pounds in around ’00, put it up for auction in ’07, and the price was 2400 pounds. It was during this art bubble that Banksy began to attract worldwide attention and his works began to be traded at auction.”

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought three of Banksy’s works at his solo exhibition, reported the world’s media.

Banksy will undoubtedly go down in art history as one of the greatest artists of all time.”

In 2008, Banksy established his own official certification body for his work, Pest Control. Incidentally, “pest control” means “vermin extermination. The ironic play on words is very Banksy.

Since the art bubble, Banksy’s fakes have been sold extensively, so he decided to guarantee his works by attaching a certificate called COA issued by Pest Control. However, they do not issue COAs for street art painted on building walls, etc.”

However, Banksy has another way of proving the authenticity of his street art as well.

He says, “At some point, I started posting images of my murals on Instagram. At some point, I started posting images of my murals on Instagram to show that they are authentic.”

A painting left on the wall of a bombed-out building in a Ukrainian city. Banksy posts videos of his mural work in Ukraine on Instagram

Last November, Banksy left seven works of art near Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and most recently, in March, he painted a new work on a ruin in southeastern England, both of which he posted on Instagram.

He said, “The reason they don’t issue pest control certificates for the paintings on the walls is probably so that the murals don’t have any commercial value. As soon as people find out who painted a picture on a building, they will remove or destroy the wall for the purpose of selling it. So I think the idea is not to approve it by pest control to prevent illegal trade.

I think Banksy believes that commercial success is rather a failure for street artists. From what I have heard indirectly, I don’t think he wants his work to have any economic value.

Eight men and women, aged 27-60, were detained after the walls of a building with Banksy’s paintings were ripped off in Khostmery, near Kyiv, Ukrainian media reported.

Banksy’s promotional skills, such as creating a buzz and using social networking sites, are impressive, but commercial success is not on his mind.

Banksy’s appeal lies in the strong message of his works, which are satirical and critical of power, war, and excessive capitalism. Banksy’s consistent attitude of conveying his own message has also led to his success in promoting his work.

Banksy is one of the most famous artists in the history of contemporary art,” says Takahashi.

The economic value of art is determined by who painted it. For example, the Campbell’s Soup can has economic value because Andy Warhol painted it.

Banksy, however, has remained a masked artist and remains shrouded in mystery, still not revealing his identity. By not revealing himself, he denies the economic value associated with the individual artist.

Like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, Banksy is the antithesis of the existing state of art, creating a new value of his own. I have no doubt that he will be one of the artists in contemporary art who will go down in the annals of art history.

Yoshiro Takahashi, president of Brücke Corporation and owner of Suiba Gallery, was born in Ehime Prefecture in 1961. In 1983, he graduated from the sculpture department of Tama Art University. In 1990, he established Brücke Co., Ltd. and opened Suiba Gallery. He deals with a wide range of artists from the Ecole de Paris to contemporary artists. He is the author of “Fascinating French Modern Paintings Read by ‘Price'” (Gentosha), “6 ‘Business Laws’ to Learn from Art” (Sunrise Publishing), and “A Business History of Western Art Read by an Art Dealer” (Discover Twenty One).

‘Banksy himself’ purported to be Robin Gunningham (Robin Banks), photographed in London, England in ’05 (PHOTO: Shutterstock/Afro)
  • Interview and text by Sayuri Saito PHOTO Afro

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