Record price for work from mysterious artist stands at USD 1.8m
A collection of works by British graffiti artist Banksy is expected to sell for more than USD 500,000 when it goes up for auction in Southern California next month.
The art includes pieces left on walls, screen prints and other unorthodox means.
One auctioneer says many of the works date from the time when Banksy was a less well-known figure.
Michael Doyle, Consignment Director at Julien's Auctions: "A lot of these prints were made at a time of like 2006 when he was not a big deal and people would buy them for cheap and throw them wherever and not take care of them. So all the stuff he made originally is not all around. For example, the "Bomb Love" -- this is a mint condition "Bomb Love" and this is signed by Banksy himself and so there is not very many pieces like this. It was made in 2004 and is in mint condition and before Banksy became the huge phenomenon that he is today."
Banksy's identity remains shrouded in mystery. That's something critics believe fuels interest in his art.
Michael Doyle, Consignment Director at Julien's Auctions: "That he is anonymous is something that only adds to the allure, causes people to speculate who he is, what is he going to do next. There is no official person to ask. He kind of sends his message out through the media. I think that fascinates people and keeps them involved in paying attention to what is next and what he is doing."
The highest price to date for a Banksy work came in 2008 when "Keep It Spotless" was sold for USD 1.8 million Sotheby's in New York. This latest auction will take place on April 29. It will include works by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol.