A record price, 7.6 million pounds – equal to about 8.4 million euros – for Banksy‘s work inspired by Monet. It is “Show Me the Monet,” a tribute by the British street artist to the French impressionist. It was sold at the second-highest price ever paid for a work by Banksy himself.
The new owner is an anonymous bidder. The painting takes up “Water Lily Pond, Green Harmony” and is an oil on canvas from 2005.
The work, in perfect Banksy style, does not lack irony. Unlike the original painting, nature is plenty of shopping trolleys and a traffic cone. A clear reference to consumerism that has contributed to making us increasingly insensitive to the environment.
The painting is the second most expensive after “Devolved Parliament”, sold at auction for 9.9 million pounds last year.
Show Me the Monet second-highest price ever paid for a work by Banksy
The painting is the second most expensive sold after “Devolved Parliament,” which was auctioned for £ 9.9 million last year.
Banksy wanted in this way to contrast the idyll of Monet’s nature with the symbols of consumerism of today’s society. This also finds a reference in the title. “Show Me the Monet,” in fact, has a very similar sound to “Show me the money,” ie “Show me the money”. The painting, therefore, represents both a tribute to the French artist and a criticism of contemporary disvalues.
“Here Banksy sheds light on society’s contempt for the environment in favor of the wasteful excesses of consumerism,” explained Sotheby’s European director of contemporary art Alex Branczik.
His works are real denunciations against the atrocities of war, pollution, the mistreatment of animals and consumerism. The subjects most used by Banksy are monkeys, mice, policemen, but also members of the royal family, cats and children.
His forays into museums are famous, such as the one at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2005. Here he hung a portrait of a lady with a gas mask, in zoos and in Disneyland, where, he introduced a sculpture depicting an inmate of Guantanamo.
Despite being responsible for some of today’s most recognizable images, we know very little about Banksy, who keeps his identity hidden. His work deals with provocative topics such as capitalism, authority, consumerism, and poverty. These often feature black mice, his trademark. During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Banksy encouraged followers to socialize by sharing images of an art installation in his own home. In July, he spray-painted the interior of London Underground carriages with pandemic-themed cartoons, such as rats using face masks as parachutes and holding bottles of hand sanitizer.