Banksy’s contemporary take on Claude Monet’s iconic water lily pond will be sold for an estimated $4.5 million in Sotheby’s online auction on October 21, 2020.
“Show me the Monet” (2005) depicts the French impressionist’s famous Japanese bridge at the artist’s garden in Giverny transformed into a “fly-tipping spot”, as described by Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, Alex Branczik, in a press release.
Banksy littered the previously idyllic pond in the original painting with shopping trollies and an orange traffic cone in a statement on “society’s disregard for the environment in favor of the wasteful excesses of consumerism”.
Speaking to Reuters on Friday (September 18) at the public display of the painting at Sotheby’s Bond Street galleries, Branczik described Banksy as the “master of the visual one liner”.
“He can take incredibly complicated messages and distill them into these very easy to understand, easy to enjoy and importantly, readily shareable images,” said Branczik.
“For that reason, he’s really caught the imagination, not just of the public here in the UK from which is where he’s from, but right now across the world.”
The painting was first shown 15 years ago in London at Banksy’s second gallery exhibition and part of a series collectively known as the “Crude Oils” where the artist takes renowned masterpieces and adds his own “witty, playful incursions”.
Branczik remarked how Banksy’s popularity and reach has increased dramatically since he created “Show me the Monet”.
“He’s gone from being an artist that was collected by collectors who really focussed on street artists to actually being sought after by some of the greatest collectors of the world,” Branczik said.
“I would fully anticipate this painting be both be bid upon by collectors who own great Basquiat’s, Haring’s, Lucian Freud’s. He’s really made it onto that echelon of collecting circles,” he added.
The artwork was on display in London on September 18 and 19 and will be unveiled in New York and Hong Kong later this month. It will be sold during Sotheby’s third livestream auction event, “Modernites/Contemporary” in October.