The demand for Post War and Contemporary art continues to dominate the fine art auction market. As a result, it has accounted for the largest sector in sales value for the past three consecutive years. Within this umbrella sector, Urban art is arguably one of the most vibrant and intriguing sales categories, recently hyped by the ongoing Beyond The Streets exhibit, underscoring the global impact of graffiti and street art and reported on by MyArtBroker.
We are monitoring the investment potential of the most formidable maverick of Urban art: the legendary Banksy. Banksy has achieved unparalleled status unique to any other artist as he has skillfully managed to control the health and trajectory of his art market through editioned prints of stencilled imagery. Since arriving within the transfixing bubble of the secondary art market, Banksy’s art - and celebrity cult status - remains fierce and unapologetic, challenging viewers to critique socio-political issues that are too often unacknowledged.
MyArtBroker looks closely at Banksy’s Q1 2023 prints and multiple performances, considering market highs and lows, for insight into what the art market has in store for the remainder of 2023. We use sourced data from our unrivalled and bespoke insights technology that tracks the most current value of prints and multiples from comprehensive series, concluding sales through our private network and the secondary market.
This platform is available for free at MyPortfolio on MyArtBroker.
The Banksy print market peaked throughout 2020 and 2021, demonstrating a tremendous surge in the annual growth rate (AGR) of total sales turnover (fees excluded) and total sales by volume, which measures the number of works sold annually. The AGR of total sales has steadily increased from 2018 to 2021, most drastically in 2020, increasing by 220% and an additional 110% in 2021. Likewise, total sales volume increased by 21% and 30% for the same consecutive years. These two areas of increase within Banksy’s last five-year trajectory are important indicators as they were the first substantial references to the artist’s secondary market growth and health.
The collective suffering from the calamities of the pandemic also marked this same annual period of Banksy’s market surge. Stay-at-home lockdown measures directed the art markets’ shift to online and digital sales platforms. Ultimately, this benefited artists’ markets, and Banksy’s, by broadening the auction house exclusivity to wider global audiences and collectors. This period in Banksy’s demand closely follows the notorious Sotheby’s Contemporary evening sale that went viral in 2018 of Banksy’s ‘self-destructing’ Girl With Balloon, selling for over £1million (price realised) and driving the forthcoming manic absorption of his market.
MyArtBroker has reported on this period of Banksy’s work extensively in our Ultimate Print Market Report. Download a free copy today.
Following the fanfare and substantial market figures, Banksy’s 2022 market has demonstrated a decrease in sales and revenue figures. The inverted U-curve in Banksy’s market suggests an interplay of complex economic market conditions, which can be credited to an oversaturated art market due to Banksy prints being bought and sold excessively throughout 2020-2021 or rising inflation rates in 2022 affecting overall art market conditions. Despite these economic analyses, Banksy’s market is unique. Banksy has resisted primary market gallery representation throughout his career, meaning that his entire market circulates on the secondary market via trades and sales. This approach has the agency to counter cooling effects and further demonstrates the phenomenal demand for his work among collectors and art enthusiasts.
Banksy’s Q1 2023 turnover for signed and unsigned prints and multiples has currently achieved a total turnover in sales of $2.3million (fees excluded). This figure is 60% short of the total turnover achieved in 2018. However, suppose Banksy’s market continues to increase sales volume for an approximate 14% quarterly rate. In that case, if more Banksy works continue circulating the market and selling at profitable price points, this measure will drive the average selling price upwards, projecting the start of an S-Curve in his market, which is evidence of an upward market trajectory.
MyArtBroker data shows an average return rate on Banksy prints and editions from various series of 47%. Considering the increasing interest in art lending services and the desire to release capital from existing art collections, now is an appropriate time to reassess which artists are worth investing in. We will be watching closely to see if the sales volume and revenue in Banksy prints and editions of 2023 will match or surpass that of previous years.
For more information on how to leverage your art collection read our recent finance guide.
Phillips' London evening sale sold Banksy’s Home Sweet Home (2006) for £1.7 million (price realised). Although the work is not included within our prints and multiples sales category, the modified oil on canvas opens a dialogue about environmental affairs and how it coincides with imagination and reality.
Christie’s London Online Contemporary Edition sale offered various editioned prints from several of Banksy’s most crucial series, commenting on relevant themes today, including climate change and consumerism. Nola (Yellow Rain) was the highest performing Banksy work realising £151,200 (price realised), sitting squarely within its preset estimates of £120,000-180,000. Christ With Shopping followed in performance, realising £94,500, 18% above its £80,000 low estimate. In November of 2022, ArtNet reported that Banksy took to Instagram, encouraging his guests to steal from a Guess clothing store as a London branch allegedly used several of his images without the artist’s consent. It seems too coincidental that Christ With Shopping, the second highest-selling work in Christie’s sales, critiques ideas of consumerism and consumption.
Lastly, Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Day auction sold Flower Thrower Triptych (Grey) for £152,400 (price realised), which is 27% against a low estimate of £120,000. These works are highly sought after and rare. Only three triptychs from Banksy’s Thrower series have surfaced within the last five years (in 2022), bringing in approximately $719,602 (price realised).
See Banksy’s sales performance broken down by series below, concluding MyArtBroker and auction sales, 2018 - Q1 2023. To find out more about Banksy’s most investable prints read our article.
Recently, Banksy has continued to make appearances in various news headlines as two recent murals have surfaced in England - Valentine’s Day Mascara in Margate and the image of a young boy and his cat stencilled and sprayed upon a bricked-up property of an old farm in Kent. Unfortunately, this work was short-lived as planned demolition destroyed its existence, probing the question, did Banksy intend its “stunt”?
Read about Banksy’s murals and public stunts in our recent article Banksy: Violence vs. Innocence.
Finally, MyArtBroker caught a rare Instagram story of an open mic night in Margate on Banksy’s account! MyArtBroker is watching these occasional appearances of the urban legend closely, anticipating his 2023 market moves.
My ArtBroker has exclusive access to Banksy’s comprehensive prints and edition series. Read more about investing in the Urban & Contemporary Print Market in our 2023: 5 Year Review.