Coveted artwork by renowned street artists, Banksy and Mr Brainwash is currently on auction in South Africa. Strauss & Co. launched its virtual live auction on Sunday with the sale featuring a collection of contemporary art by both local and international artists including modern, post-war and contemporary art, decorative arts, jewellery and fine wine.
Banksy’s coveted piece, Happy Choppers, which first appeared in 2002 as a sprayed mural at Whitecross Street Market in central London is one of the most expensive artworks on offer within the contemporary collection. The artwork will be auctioned today (Tuesday 13 April) with the bid starting at R900,000.
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The editioned Banksy silkscreen auctioned by Strauss & Co. is one out of a limited 750 prints and is numbered 264. Happy Choppers prints were released in 2003, with 150 signed prints (33 of which are artist’s proofs) and 600 unsigned prints. The artwork is 67cm by 48cm and has been reproduced by Banksy in acrylic and stencil on board, and was originally created as sharp criticism of military intervention regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular.
Also on auction by Strauss & Co. are two artworks by fellow street artist Mr Brainwash. The French-born artist’s ‘Madonna’ (estimated to be worth between R900,000 and R1.2 million) and his ‘Portrait of Martin Luther King’ – valued between R25,000 to R35,000.
While Banksy and Mr Brainwash are considered some of the most high-profile artists on the, it is acclaimed South African artist, William Kentridge, whose work Kentridge’s Blue Head (1993 – shown below) has the highest reserve price of any artworks in the contemporary category, starting at R1 million.
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