What Happened to Banksy's Buyers? Some of His Famous Works Flopped at L.A. Auction Last Night
It should be mentioned that 13 of Banksy's other works did sell at auction, meeting their reserve prices, but few of them exceeding their estimates like the artist's work historically has done. There were bargains for Banksy aficionados, but is his popularity waning? Was this just a bad night for the mystery artist or does the disposable nature of Banksy's art mean that ultimately, it has a sell by date?
Jeff Maysh/ Coleman-Rayner Bonham's Gareth Williams stands in front of art by D*Face
The parody twitter feed, @BanskyIdeas, suggests ideas for the artist to try next, like: "Stencil of a group of New York hipsters attempting to Instagram photos of the hurricane as they're sucked into a vortex of wind." They're delightfully feasible, but they underline the simplicity of Banksy's statements: These throwaway protests are designed for the short attention span of the new bourgeoisie. Banksy is to the art world what Lady Gaga is to fashion.
Still, argues Williams, who has been with Bonham's 15 years, this aspect of Banksy's work is what makes him great. "Banksy is very accessible, very immediate," says Williams. "He deals with issues people deal with on a day to day basis, and he is definitely still relevant."
During a rare interview with LA Weeklyin 2010, when asked about what the director Werner Herzog referred to as the "magic" of L.A., Banksy chuckled: "In Los Angeles, you can rise without a trace." It's also a town where even the most waterproof of stars can sink without trace.