Banksy’s Trashy Monet Take Fetches $10 Million at Auction

It's now the second-highest-selling Banksy

banksy's "show me the monet"
A landscape for our times.
Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby's

Back in 2005, Banksy said his vandalized riffs of classic paintings — including one that saw Monet’s idyllic water lily pond transformed into a trash-strewn garbage dump — “reflect life as it is now.” Fifteen years later, a putrid trash heap is perhaps a better representation of modern life than ever, which is perhaps why Banksy’s crude re-rendering just sold for nearly $10 million at auction.

The oil painting, “Show Me the Monet,” was only expected to get between $3.9 million to $6.5 million at auction Wednesday, the New York Post reported. Its final selling price of $9.89 million is the second-highest for which one of Banksy’s works has ever sold.

The painting, one of several in a series of re-workings called the “Crude Oils” collections, sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby’s in London after what the auction house called “a lively and competitive 9-minute bidding battle between clients from around the world.”

Banksy’s painting is a dark take on Monet’s original, showing the glittering lily pond beneath the iconic Japanese bridge strewn with shopping carts and an orange traffic cone.

The only piece of Banksy’s to sell for more than “Show Me the Monet” was the artist’s painting of the British parliament as chimpanzees, which sold for more than $12 million last year.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, called the Monet riff one of the “strongest and most iconic” Banksy works to ever appear at auction.

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