A sale of contemporary art at London’s Shadow Lounge held by gallery owner Steve Lazarides drew a crowd of nearly 100 collectors, including absentee bidders Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who swept up one of the works by Banksy, perhaps the “Rat with Roller” graffiti image seen above which was loaded on to a truck and shipped off after the show.
The Shadow Lounge auction is one of many alternatives to the simultaneous Frieze Art Fair which features auctions by major houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Shadow Lounge is normally a dark, smoke-filled gay bar filled with shirtless men and go-go boys.
The Times Online reports: “Conceived as an irreverent shot across the bows of the art establishment, The Soho Auction is the brainchild of the photographer-turned-gallerist Steve Lazarides. Mr Lazarides has flourished in the past few years thanks to his representation of artists including Banksy and Antony Micallef, the emerging talent from Brighton whose show in Los Angeles this summer sold out for $6.5 million (£3.2 million) in two hours. ‘The idea is to inject a little anarchy back into the staid, serious business of buying art,’ Mr Lazarides said. ‘It will be an evening of booze and burlesque, with the odd bit of extremely desirable art thrown in.’…The sale in question includes three Andy Warhols (combined guide price, £390,000), a Basquiat collage (£800,000), three new Damien Hirst paintings (£925,000) and works by Banksy, the celebrated anonymous graffiti artist.”