A well-known Banksy print depicting a strip of chimpanzees wearing sandwiches boards that say “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge” sold for $446,000 in London yesterday at Bonham’s first “urban art” auction. It had an estimate of between $300,000 and $400,000 dollars. His print of Kate Moss, an Andy Warhol pastiche, was snatched up for more than three times its estimate.
Bloomberg reports: ” Bonhams said that a crowd of more than 500 people crammed into its Bond Street saleroom to see the 74-lot auction raise about a million pounds with fees, compared with a lower estimate of around 550,000 pounds. Only one lot failed to sell. ‘It felt like a momentous occasion,’ said Mike Snelle of the East London gallery, the Black Rat Press. ‘This auction signified a real acceptance of street art….The real story of the auction,’ Snelle said, ‘was that there’s more to street art than Banksy. The real star of the night was Nick Walker.’ Walker is a 39-year-old graffiti artist who lives in Banksy’s home city of Bristol. His spray-paint-on-canvas work, ‘Moona Lisa,’ (below right) dating from 2006 — showing La Giaconda exposing her bottom — sold for a record 54,000 pounds with fees, against an estimate of 3,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds.”
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