Banksy Painting “Devolved Parliament” Sells for $12 Million

A record amount for one of the artist’s paintings

Banksy painting
Banksy's painting "Devolved Parliament" sold for $12 million at auction this week.

On March 28, artist Banksy posted an image of a 10-year-old painting, titled Devolved Parliament, to Instagram. “I made this ten years ago,” he wrote. “Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.” The image featured a meticulously-rendered image of Parliament in session, with one significant difference from reality: all of those gathered in the chamber were chimpanzees. 

Now, Devolved Parliament has been sold — and for a sum that exceeds any of the artist’s previous paintings. DesignTaxi has the news:

The estimated price tag for the painting Devolved Parliament was around £1.5m-£2m (US$1.8-US$2.5) before the auction. But the artwork scaled new heights, fetching close to £10m (US$12m), in which the organizers claim is a record Banksy.

Bidding for the painting lasted all of 13 minutes before it reached its selling price. The artist weighed in on the sale via an Instagram post. “Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight,” he wrote. “Shame I didn’t still own it.”

Prior to the painting’s sale, some in the art world speculated as to whether Banksy had updated the painting for the present political moment. Keen-eyed observers took note of some small details that had been changed from the original version to the one that went on display earlier this year.

The price this painting was sold for may well be due to a convergence of the art market and current politics. Nonetheless, it’s made for a fascinating look at the expensive place where fine art and political commentary converge.

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