Two works by artist Banksy belonging to British pop singer Robbie Williams sold for several million euros each at auction by Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday. “Vandalised Oil (Choppers)”, an oil painting depicting military helicopters bursting into a peaceful countryside landscape, sold for nearly 4.4 million pounds (about 5.3 million euros). The price exceeded estimates, set at between 2.5 and 3.5 million pounds.
For Sotheby’s, this painting illustrates the “anti-war message” of Banksy, street artist from Bristol (west of England) whose real identity remains mysterious and who likes to mark opinion through his works. Although the painting is reminiscent of the American film “Apocalypse Now” on the Vietnam War, it seems to evoke more the war in Iraq, underlines the auction house, recalling that Banksy had committed himself against this war and had distributed signs at the stencil at protests in London in 2003.
In images, in pictures : Robbie Williams sells his sublime “British” home
At the same sale, a version of “The girl with the balloon” by the British artist was sold for 2.8 million pounds (about 3.4 million euros). This work also belonged to Robbie Williams, who bought it directly from the artist in 2006. It was estimated between 2 and 3 million pounds. This image of a little girl reaching for a flying red heart-shaped balloon appeared on walls in London from 2002 and was subsequently reproduced in various versions, including paintings or prints, by the artist.
The price of one of these copies which had partially self-destructed during a sale had soared to nearly 18.6 million pounds (21.8 million euros) in October 2021 at auction in London, a record for the artist. In March 2021, another of his works, “Game Changer”, a canvas honoring caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic, was sold for 16.75 million pounds (19.5 million euros) for the benefit of the British public health service.
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