Housing Works Auction for Banksy Painting Falls Apart; Final Price Unclear

Banality_banksy

The auction for the Banksy work The Banality of the Banality of Evil, which was given to AIDS charity Housing Works and sold for $615,000, fell though after the person who original won it failed to make good, TPM reports:

Wil Emling, a Minneapolis man who bid on behalf of what he described as a private buyer, said Housing Works contacted him on Monday. "I get an email saying basically the bidder has canceled and to call him right away," Emling said.

He then spoke by phone to Bernardo, who he said told him the first bidder to make an offer and wire the funds would walk away with the one-of-a-kind Banksy. But Emling had reservations about the painting in light of the news and ultimately decided to walk away.

Bernardo confirmed to TPM that the organization contacted Emling as well as "all the top qualified bidders." The painting was ultimately sold to someone, Bernardo said, although he declined to disclose its final price or the name of the buyer out of respect for the person's privacy.

Emling also said that Housing Works told him that the charity had known that a Banksy work was coming and "So the whole story about somebody buying it weeks ago and then somebody coming and dropping it off and telling them, 'I need to speak with the manager, you have a very expensive piece on your hands here" isn't the case, a story which Housing Works denies.

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Comments

  1. I've read this three times and still don't understand what is going on.

    Posted by: Sam | Nov 9, 2013 12:46:25 PM


  2. $615,000 for a Banksy? he's one of my favorite conceptual artists but he's still not Warhol. Hold your horsies.

    Posted by: Felix | Nov 9, 2013 12:53:16 PM


  3. agree with sam -- it sounds like the sort of david lynchy dialog one overhears in a dream

    Posted by: unokhan | Nov 9, 2013 12:59:05 PM


  4. Agree with the other commenters, the cut and paste style that many towleroad writers have adopted really butchers so many stories. I wish you'd at least read the bits you're bringing into towleroad before you hit publish to see if it makes any sense. Clearly some very important parts of the article were left behind, making this snippet unintelligible.

    Posted by: brian1 | Nov 9, 2013 1:55:24 PM


  5. I read the headline and thought 'the painting fell apart!?' Just had my coffee and now I think I get it

    Posted by: Kevin G | Nov 9, 2013 2:08:01 PM


  6. They already listed the bidders. It was a russian dude, followed by an arab dude in 2nd. Who else keeps paintings of Hitler?

    Posted by: Kev C | Nov 9, 2013 2:22:02 PM


  7. 1. I agree that the writing in this article is shoddy. What is Housing Works denying? That is very unclear.

    2. re: Kev C - The painting doesn't have Hitler in it, Banksy painted a generic Nazi. But also, your implication that only a Russian and/or an Arab would keep "paintings of Hitler," betrays a misunderstanding of European History.

    Posted by: ac | Nov 9, 2013 2:40:48 PM


  8. AC, I'm pretty sure the figure is intended to be Hitler. And regardless of history, many russians today are fans of Hitler and russia is full of neo-nazis.

    Posted by: Kev C | Nov 9, 2013 2:58:18 PM


  9. "Emling also said that Housing Works told him that the charity had known that a Banksy work was coming and "So the whole story about somebody buying it weeks ago and then somebody coming and dropping it off and telling them, 'I need to speak with the manager, you have a very expensive piece on your hands here" isn't the case, a story which Housing Works denies."


    wat?

    Posted by: jaker | Nov 9, 2013 3:45:20 PM


  10. `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Posted by: Endoritos | Nov 9, 2013 4:14:26 PM


  11. Wait.. What?

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 9, 2013 4:41:30 PM


  12. Kev C: There are neo-nazis everywhere - I don't know the basis for your claims that "many Russians today are fans of Hitler; I mean, I don't know what evidence there is to support this. Also, by that logic you insinuate that many Arabs today are fans of Hitler too. Off the cuff remarks like that - whether you believe them or not - are problematic and vitriolic.

    Posted by: ac | Nov 9, 2013 6:02:16 PM


  13. Thanks, Mercury Retrograde!

    Posted by: Roger | Nov 9, 2013 8:19:39 PM


  14. Please see my comments in the Guardian. I too am happy for Housing Works. However by shedding light on this I hope others step in and make up the difference. Cheers -Wil Emling.

    Please see my open letter to Banksy and Pest control at www.williamemling.com

    Posted by: Wil Emling | Nov 11, 2013 9:57:02 AM


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