US Politics

Banksy painting of chimps in British Parliament sells for record $12M

Pandemonium befitting the British Parliament erupted at Sothebys in London when a Banksy painting depicting primates sitting in a Commons chamber fetched more than $12 million, according to reports.

After furious bidding Thursday that lasted about 13 minutes, the 2009 “Devolved Parliament” by the elusive, anonymous artist in which chimpanzees replace politicians easily surpassed its estimated price tag of $1.8 million to $2.4 million.

“Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didnt still own it,” Banksy wrote on his Instagram feed along with a post quoting art critic Robert Hughes.

“… The price of a work of art is now part of its function, its new job is to sit on the wall and get more expensive. Instead of being the common property of humankind the way a book is, art becomes the particular property of someone who can afford it,” the post quoted Hughes as saying.

Before the blockbuster sale, the auction record for a Banksy work was $1,870,000 for “Keep it Spotless,” which sold at Sothebys in New York in 2008, according to Reuters.

The 13-foot-long “Devolved Parliament” is the stencil-slinging graffiti artists largest known canvas, according to Sothebys.

Man commentators have drawn comparisons of the depicted monkey business to current-day British politics — namely the increasingly volatile exchanges in the House of Commons over the UKs pending departure from the European Union, or Brexit, on Oct. 31.

“Inevitably what we have been seeing in the Houses of Parliament over the last few months and weeks has become a daily soap opera, not just in the UK… but also across the rest of Europe and indeed the world,” Alex Branczik, Sothebys European head of contemporary art, told AFP before the sale.

Gallery assistants pose with Banksys Devolved ParliamentAFP via Getty Images

“What hes pointing to here is the regression of the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world into tribalistic animalistic behaviour, the sort that weve seen broadcasted on our televisions,” Branczik said.

“The real genius of Banksy is his abiRead More – Source

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