Banksy’s ‘Show Me the Monet’ becomes artist’s second most expensive artwork ever sold at auction

Painting sold for over £7.5m, drastically exceeding expectations

Louis Chilton
Thursday 22 October 2020 13:46
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A parody of Claude Monet’s impressionist water lilies painting by popular street artist Banksy has been sold at auction for more than £7.5m.

The piece, entitled Show Me the Monet, was bought for significantly more than its estimated price of between £3.5m and £5m.

Show Me the Monet recreates one of Monet’s most famous paintings, Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies, adding an abandoned shopping trolley and traffic cones to the scene. 

The auction took place in London at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, fetching £7,551,600. Five collectors vied for the artwork, in a bidding war lasting about nine minutes.

Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art Alex Branczik said of the painting : “In one of his most important paintings, Banksy has taken Monet’s iconic depiction of the Japanese bridge in the impressionist master’s famous garden at Giverny and transformed it into a modern-day fly-tipping spot.

‘Show Me the Monet’ on display at Sotheby’s, London

“More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies and a fluorescent orange traffic cone. Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favour of the wasteful excesses of consumerism.”

The piece is now the second-most expensive Banksy artwork ever sold at auction, behind Devolved Parliament, a painting which depicted government ministers as chimpanzees.

Devolved Parliament sold for a staggering £9.9m last year.

Show Me the Monet is part of a series by the enigmatic artist entitled Crude Oil, which seeks to reimagine various canonical paintings, adding a contemporary satirical spin.

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