Banksy and Warhol at Bonham's June Post-War & Contemporary Art Auction
You'll find a few standout items amongst this sale that offers us 39 lots, set for June 29, 2016, in the Bonham's London salesroom. Unless you're a collector, many of the names may be unknown to you — familiar with the work of Dorazio, Furnas or Jacquet? Don't feel bad, we weren't either but now we are and that's one of the pleasures of hanging out in auction houses, the opportunity to stumble over compelling, unknown work. We've picked a few favorites from the offering and you can browse all the lots on the Bonham's site, accompanied in some cases with extensive commentary.
For example, the firm is almost eulogistic in speaking about the star of the show, a striking example of Warhol's highly-desirable Mao series: "As its simple title implies, Mao depicts the face of one of the last century's most powerful and controversial leaders bathed in a wash of colour; acid green, luscious blue and a crown of intense red applied with a dexterous élan which symbolises Warhol's triumphant early 70s return to painting. After more than three decades in a private collection, with an exemplary provenance dating back to its original purchase from the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, the present work re-emerges as arguably the finest example of this landmark series to ever reach the market." Arguably!
Also hot is a one-off Bansky, in the form of an extensively-painted SWAT van. Such artifacts are indeed rare and the Bonham's employee doesn't hold back in the description: "All of Banksy is on show here, his bravado, his imagination, his technical prowess, his confidence and his willingness to put his head above the parapet and speak truth to power." Unique, yes, but will it make its high estimate of $400,000? To answer that question, you'll have to visit the Bonham's site after the sale to check out the results. But if it didn't hit half a million, we'd be shocked.
Update: The SWAT van fetched just $281,000, making it a deal, from our perspective.
Banksy, Barcode Leopard, 2002, stencil spray paint and emulsion on canvas
Banksy, SWAT Van, 2006, household gloss and spray paint on van
Yayoi Kusama, Stamens Sorrow, 1986, stuffed fabric, acrylic and mixed media on board
Agostino Bonalumi, Giallo, 1967, shaped canvas and vinyl tempera
Damien Hirst, Untitled aaaaaa, 1992, glass, painted MDF, ramin, steel, plastic, aluminium and pharmaceutical packaging
George Condo, Untitled, pastel and crayon on paper, 1993
Andy Warhol, Mao, 1973, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas