Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PART OF THE PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT GOODWILL IN ACTION TO PREVENT SUICIDE

Bunch of Flowers

Bunch of Flowers
signed ‘Banksy’ (lower right); inscribed ‘For Trevor’ (lower left)
spray paint on acetate, in artist’s frame
33 ¾ x 28 x 1 ¼in. (85.7 x 71 x 3.2cm.)
Executed in 2020
Private Collection, UK (a gift from the artist).
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pest Control.

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Lot Essay

Painted in 2020, Bunch of Flowers by Banksy is a reinterpretation of one of the artist’s most iconic images. In the present work, Banksy has stencilled a bouquet of flowers whose wrapping evanesces against the opaque acetate ground; it a unique work and the gilt frame was selected by the artist. The cropped composition recalls the artist’s recurrent ‘Love is in the Air’ or ‘Flower Thrower’ motif, an image which first appeared in Jerusalem shortly after the West Bank Wall was constructed in 2000. Here, however, the focus rests on the blossoms of the 'Flower Thrower', who hurls not stones but flowers in his quest for peace.

The use of stencils in Bunch of Flowers is characteristic of Banksy, who was first inspired by their potential after a confrontation with the police at the age of eighteen. Fleeing their pursuit one evening, he hid beneath a garbage truck where the outlined lettering on the side of the makeshift shelter caught his eye. ‘As I lay there listening to the cops on the tracks,’ he recalled, ‘I realised I had to cut my painting time in half or give it up altogether. I was staring straight up at the stencilled plate on the bottom of the fuel tank when I realised I could just copy that style and make each letter three feet high’ (Banksy, Wall and Piece, London 2005, p. 13). Soon thereafter, stencilled images began to appear on the sides of buildings, trains, and other public walls first across Bristol, where the artist had grown up, and then in locales as far flung as Sydney and Timbuktu. By the turn of the millennium, Banksy’s biting, often political imagery had begun to bring him international acclaim.

Banksy’s desire to confront the world’s injustices through street art imbues his graffiti with an activist spirit. Through his distinctive visual language – a mix of satire and ambiguity, all rendered in sleek matte paint – the artist refuses to stand idly by the wayside. Indeed, much of the joy of Banksy’s art is the way in which it melds aesthetic considerations with social engagement. In doing so, he has solidified his place as both a well-recognised artist and a vocal activist, but at his heart, Banksy remains an idealist who sees street art as an uplifting force. ‘Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal’, the artist has written, ‘a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet’ (Banksy, Wall and Piece, London 2005, p. 97).

Part of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be used to benefit Goodwill in Action, a charity working to prevent suicide through the growth of community relations.

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