Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

    The international autumn selling season gets underway in earnest this month. Major auction houses have been issuing previews of what to expect.  Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening sale in London on October 14, to coincide with the Frieze and Frieze Masters art fairs, will be headed by what they cheerfully describe as the most famous artwork of the 21st century, Banksy’s Love is in the Bin. Global news and instant art history happened when Girl with a Balloon was shredded just after the hammer came down on a million pound bid in 2018.  It was then authenticated by Banksy and given a new title of Love is in the Bin.  The new owner decided the wise thing to do was bank on Banksy and kept it.  It now comes to market with an estimate of £4 million – £6 million (€4.67 million – €7.01 million).

    Love is in the Bin by Banksy. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £18.5 MILLION

    This is the dawning of the age of minorities and in what will be an undoubted shot in the arm for black transgender women artists MGM resorts will sell their Picasso’s in Las Vegas on October 23 and build a new collection with a focus of diversity.  The art market of the future will feature artists from a more diverse range of backgrounds, particularly from groups who have been discriminated against. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Because it Hurts the Lungs (1986) will be a highlight at Christie’s live and livestreamed 20th/21st Century evening sale including Thinking Italian in London on October 15.  The title of the work is taken from a cryptic quote by Leonardo:  “Why the thunderbolt kills a (man and) does not wound him, and if the man blew his nose he would not die.  Because it hurts the lungs”. Winston Churchill, whose Tower at Koutoubia Mosque” sold for a record £8.3 million in March, will highlight Christie’s Modern British art evening auction in London on October 20.  The Bridge at Aix en Provence was gifted to the Swiss paint manufacturer Willy Sax, who supplied Churchill with his artistic materials and would become a lifelong friend.  It is now estimated at £1.5-£2.5 million (€1.75-€2.92 million).As part of a global expansion Bonhams has just opened its first dedicated saleroom on the Continent at Rue de la Paix in the heart of the luxury district in Paris. There will be a sale of Antiquities next Thursday (October 7).  This will be followed one week later by a sale of Post War and Contemporary art.


    Friday, September 3rd, 2021

    Banksy’s shredded  Love is in the Bin will return to Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries this October, at four to six times the price. Passing through a hidden shredder just seconds after the hammer fell on a million pound bid, the “nation’s favourite artwork” – Girl with a Balloon – seemingly auto-destructed in 2018 while hanging on the wall in Sotheby’s packed auction room. Capturing the world by surprise, this unexpected piece of performance art became instant art history, making it the first time a new work had been created in the course of an auction.

    In the days that followed, the shredded artwork was granted a new certificate and date by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and given the new title, Love is in the Bin. The collector who had placed the record winning bid on Girl with Balloon decided to keep the new work.* Looking back on the event, she explains: “That surreal evening three years ago, I became the accidental – but very privileged – owner of Love is in the Bin. It has been an incredible journey to have been part of the story of how one of the most famous artworks in the world came to be, but now it is time to let the painting go.”

    It will come up at the Contemporary Art evening auction at Sotheby’s in London on October 14 – this time with an estimate of £4-£6 million.

    Banksy’s Love is in the Bin, 2018


    Monday, March 15th, 2021

    A parody by Banksy of actress Demi Moore’s iconic Vanity Fair cover comes up at Sotheby’s livestreamed marquee auction on March 25 with an estimate of £2-3 million. The two-metre-tall canvas was first unveiled in 2006 as the poster image for Banksy’s debut and breakthrough U.S. exhibition, which cemented his status. Titled ‘Barely Legal’, the self-proclaimed “three-day vandalised warehouse extravaganza” took place in an impoverished area of Los Angeles. The location was kept secret until hours before the opening. Advertisements featuring the poster juxtaposed against the Hollywood sign were pasted around the city in the lead up and to promote the show, Banksy also left an inflatable replica of a Guantánamo Bay detainee in Disneyland. During the three-day view the exhibition famously drew 30,000 visitors – among them Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, Dennis Hopper, Cameron Diaz and Sacha Baron Cohen. The LA Times reported that $5 million worth of art was sold during the opening two hours.

    Banksy –  Original Concept for Barely Legal Poster (After Demi Moore), 2006. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2,677,000


    Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

    A universal tribute by the artist Banksy to those fighting Covid-19 worldwide comes up at Christie’s 20th century art evening sale in London on March 23. Banksy’s Game Changer will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000. It appeared at Southampton General Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic in May 2020. It was always his intention that it should be auctioned and a reproduction will remain at the hospital. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the NHS.

    UPDATE: Game Changer sold for £16,758,000. Proceeds will be used to support health organisations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS. Christie’s will donate a significant portion of the Buyer’s Premium to these cause


    Sunday, October 25th, 2020

    The Irish and International art online auction by Morgan O’Driscoll on October 27 has aroused significant interest at home and abroad.  The international selection, headed by Warhol’s portraits of Mohammed Ali, is strong and includes work by Banksy, Bridget Riley, Howard Hodgkin, Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst, Sol Lewitt and others. With 176 lots in total there is a good representation of leading Irish artists including Sean Scully, Louis le Brocquy, Jack Butler Yeats, William Crozier, John Butler Yeats, Sir William Orpen, Mainie Jellett, Kenneth Webb, Barry Castle, Tony O’Malley, Patrick Graham, Pauline Bewick and many more. There is sculpture by John Behan,  Sandra Bell,  Orla de Bri, F.E. McWilliam and others.

    BANKSY (20TH/21ST CENTURY) BRITISH – Morons (Sepia), 2007 (20,000-30,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 68,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, October 10th, 2020

    Banksy’s Show me the Monet  comes up at Sotheby’s in London on October 21 with an estimate of £3-5 million.  It is from the Crude Oils series where the artist remixes well known artworks. Among other works in the series are Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers portrayed wilting or dead; Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks augmented by an angry man in Union Jack boxer shorts moments after breaking the bar window with a chair, and Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe re-faced with Kate Moss. The artist is quoted saying: “If you want to survive as a graffiti writer when you go indoors, I figured your only option is to carry on painting over things that don’t belong to you there either.”  According to Sotheby’s Show me the Monet may be interpreted as a comment on consumerist culture, a criticism of the commercialisation of art, a lament for the demise of the environment, or all of the above. Painted in 2005 it will highlight a livestream auction which brings together two sales of Modern and Contemporary art held in sequence in Paris and London. 



    Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

    There was a world record for a print by Banksy at Christie’s London Editions sale today. His Balloon Girl – Colour AP (Purple) sold for £791,250 over a top estimate of £350,000. The Banksy I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Sh*t sale was 100% sold by lot and brought in £2,121,250. This is the highest total achieved for a dedicated Banksy auction. The London Editions achieved a combined total of £4,374,125.

    Banksy’s Balloon Girl – Colour AP (Purple)


    Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

    There was a welcome shot in the arm for the fundraising efforts of a hospital in Bethlehem this evening thanks to a very generous charitable donation by the anonymous street artist Banksy. His trio of found seascape paintings reworked into a pointed response to the refugee crisis sold for £2,235,000 at Sotheby’s cross departmental global online Rembrandt to Richter sale. The tripartite work by Banksy, Mediterranean Sea View 2017, features empty orange life jackets symbolising European bound migrants who drowned.

    Donated by the artist the paintings had been estimated at £800,000-1.2 million. They were the focus of spirited bidding. Since being created they have hung above the fireplace of Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem in Jerusalem’s West Bank. The proceeds will go towards a new acute stroke unit and children’s rehabilitation equipment at the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.

    The flagship summer Rembrandt to Richter sale realised £150 million.

    One of the works in detail


    Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

    Instantly dubbed “The Scar of Bethlehem” the latest work by Banksy appeared on yesterday in the Israeli occupied West Bank. A Christmas crib with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph backlit through damaged concrete. The vertical concrete slabs behind the scene are pierced by a hole making a latter day star apparently created by a mortar shell. The work is at Banksy’s Walled-Off Hotel, where rooms overlook a concrete section of the barrier built by Israel. On instagram the artist described the work as a “modified nativity”.

    (See post on for February 28, 2015)

    The West Bank nativity scene by Banksy


    Thursday, November 14th, 2019

    The largest collection of Banksy’s work exhibited in Ireland will feature at Art Source, at the RDS from November 15-17. Gormleys Fine Art will display 12 screen prints by the anonymous British-based artist. Over 15,000 people are expected to attend Art Source which features 200 contemporary Irish and international artists and galleries.

    Iconic Irish sculptor Patrick O’Reilly will unveil new work including a standing wolfhound, a rocking horse and a series of dolls. Art Source showcases painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, prints and ceramic art.

    Sale Ends Today by Banksy (€32,000)