Presenting more than ten original artworks, alongside a selection of exclusive limited prints, Amsterdam’s LionelGallery is organizing the most elaborate art sale exhibition of British street artist Banksy to date, showcasing the ‘Forgive Us Our Trespassing’ painting in which Banksy used to promote his DVD ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ in Oxford Street, London circa 2010. During the exhibition entitled ‘Keep it Real’ which will run from June 20th to July 20th, art collectors are expected to fly in from Europe, China, the US and the Middle-East to admire some of the pieces produced by – what he’s come to be known as – the “Modern Picasso”. Banksy has also been called The King of Street Art (in the same way Andy Warhol was to Pop Art). In the past ten months he’s transcended from a underground icon to the household name he is today, not only becoming popular with your grandmother but taking first place on Google’s most searched artist, overtaking the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, Warhol and Van Gogh. Despite his prolific work as somewhat of an activist in the early years, the art world only began to take interest in his work after the Banksy exhibition at Sotheby’s in London, six months ago. Lionel and Kim from the Lionel Gallery, have already been successful with iconic artists like Picasso, Koons, Hirst and Basquiat, so selling Banksy’s work will be no problem at all. Their curator’s eye is expected to offer an uplifting and contemporary view of the collection.
Some street artists are getting really big and can be called the Picassos of their time. A few of them have drawn the attention of auction houses and top galleries, a fine example of how the old art world meets the new one.
Banksy is synonymous with politically engaged and satirical street art; his works have been featured in cities throughout the world, even in areas of turmoil, like Gaza. He’s known for his various PR-stunts but the ‘biggest auction yet’ seems a little odd as this was a notion he ridiculed in his most recent movie; eluding to the detriment of work when it starts to involve huge cash injections. Maybe he’s sold out, maybe its another PR stunt, but Banksy’s endeavors seem to becoming a lot more complacent with his former messages of revolt. Either way, if you’re in the area, check it out.
LIONELGALLERY, Nieuwe spiegelstraat 64, Amsterdam