Are you in the market to buy a Banksy print in 2023? Here are a few pieces of advice before you start your search, to make sure you find the right piece at the right price.
In this buyer’s guide for you budding Banksy collectors, we have assembled all our top advice on starting and growing a collection. To find out more about the latest trends in the ever-changing market, download our free Banksy Market Trend Report.
Looking to sell a Banksy print instead? Read our dedicated Banksy Sellers Guide.
Simply put, Banksy is one of the most refreshingly relevant artists available on the blue-chip market, which has traditionally catered to a more conservative, less explicitly political taste. His art perfectly mixes ironic humour, deep political commentary, and visually appealing graphics, appealing to a broad audience of people. Banksy's market, now firmly established despite his art's subversiveness, regularly attracts both new and experienced collectors.
Originally from Bristol, Banksy’s instantly recognisable street art first appeared in the late 1990s. His clever mix of popular and political imagery, along with a strong tongue-in-cheek message, quickly gained him the attention of the media and the public and, inevitably, the art world, including gallerists, museums and prestigious collectors alike. Whether it is through subversively incorporating a mocking message into his art, or shredding his own work right after it sold for £1M at auction, Banksy has consistently poked fun at the very art world who has crowned him both their enfant terrible and golden boy, but this has not deterred the market for his art, which seems to be reaching a place of stable maturity.
Banksy keeps a constant finger on the pulse of current events. Most recently, in December 2022, in light of the war in Ukraine, he created a highly exclusive edition of 50 new prints to raise money for an aid organisation, Legacy of War, currently working to support Ukrainian civilians affected by the ongoing war. Other key topical issues Banksy has adressed through his art include the refugee crisis, the Gaza conflict, Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as universal issues such as homelessness. Banksy's audience can always count on him to issue public artistic commentary and stir controversy, making him an ever-relevant choice for collectors.
Banksy’s continuous activist efforts, pranks, political commentaries, headline appearances and record prices have made him one of the most iconic and sought-after artists since the early 2000s. Thankfully, there are more options than ever to buy a Banksy from a range of places and prices. While news-worthy original paintings can sell for millions at auction, there are also more affordable limited-edition Banksy prints available to budding collectors.
Navigating the Banksy market, knowing whether to make a purchase privately or at auction, buying a specific print, or building a collection can be tricky. But to get you started, we have put together the most essential factors to look out for when you’re landing a Banksy.
Historically, yes, Banksy prints have performed well for collectors seeking a return on their investment: ever since Banksy broke into the mainstream world of commercial art in the early 2000s the demand for his work has soared year on year. By 2019, he had made it to the top of the pyramid, outrunning Picasso, Da Vinci and Monet as Great Britain’s favourite artist according to a popular vote.
We have conducted in-depth analysis of the historical performance of Banksy at auction, over the past 5 years, which documents the annual growth rate of Banksy's market, and some of the impressive returns collectors looking to eventually sell would have theoretically made on individual prints. You can download that 5 Year Market Report here.
The artist has carved himself a huge secondary market of signed and unsigned prints. The Banksy secondary market is an established one, having been around for over 15 years; after an extraordinary run, the Banksy market has undergone a correction as it begins to mature. Between 2020 and 2021, an exceptional growth in Bansky's market led to it spiking at £36,575,791 in 2021. After corrections in the past year, we have seen the Banksy market potentially maturing towards a tendency for mid- to long-term investment, as opposed to the accelerated trades of 2020. Though we are yet to see how fluctuation will settle in 2023 and beyond, value growth proves Banksy's individual prints are still a viable investment asset; ultimately, the best reason to buy a print is that you love it as an artwork, but knowing its value will remain stable in the mid- to long-term is understandably another necessary factor for most collectors.
The most sought-after Banksy editions are often those directly inspired by or based on his graffiti pieces. After extensive data analysis, which looks at the last 5-years of Banksy's prints' auction performance, these are some of the prints that we think are worth looking out for in 2023:
To explore our full breakdown of the top 10 most investable Banksy prints for 2023, read out Banksy Market Watch here.
Today, buying an original Banksy on the secondary market can cost you millions. A limited-edition print, however, can range from a few thousand up to hundreds of thousands, based on rarity, popularity and whether it is signed or not.
Banksy’s primary market releases are extremely rare. Before the release of 50 editioned prints in aid of Ukraine in late 2022, Banksy had not released any limited edition prints or multiple since his Gross Domestic Product pop-up shop in 2019, and before that since Sale Ends V2 in 2017. If you happen to be in Bethlehem, you can try the Walled Off Hotel gift shop, which sells open-edition merchandise by Banksy, but these will not appreciate in value in the same way as a limited edition.
Rarity, popularity and whether a print is signed or unsigned can significantly affect the work’s value. To check if a work is signed, check the bottom corners of the print – it should have a signature in pencil and also a number as a fraction. The bottom number shows the total number of prints within the edition, while the top number is the number for this specific print.
Another important consideration is if the piece has Banksy’s signature. Banksy’s prints often come in both signed and unsigned, numbered editions, as well as artist’s proofs. There are usually 600-750 unsigned editions and 150 signed editions per print. Signed editions are, normally, more desirable and will fetch a higher price because they are rarer. But due to the phenomenal demand for any Banksy artworks, unsigned are also always a collectable Banksy artwork. Signed prints have fared well in the recently turbulent market, with a 15% average sale price decrease year over year (YoY) 2022 (year to date). 2020 saw unsigned prints take a YoY average sale price increase of 232% followed by a 2% increase in 2021. Signed prints growth in 2020 was 132%, whilst still exceptionally high, was not as dramatic.
Of course, if there are certain works that appeal to you as a collector, then those are the right ones to start with!
In 2022, signed limited edition Banksy prints sold for anywhere between £3000 and £882,000 at auction. Over 300 prints by the graffiti artist have sold at auction in 2022, totalling £14.7 million. It is not surprising then that, as MyArtBroker founder Ian Syer states, "The Banksy market offers collectors an exciting opportunity at both ends of the value spectrum."
MyArtBroker keeps a very close eye on the developments of the Banksy market and can advise on the price of the print you are considering. Additionally, we will always aim foremost to accommodate our client's individual budgetary needs and individual tastes. If you consult with our specialist brokers they will offer advice wisely and discreetly.
The first thing you want to check when you come across a Banksy print for sale is a Certificate of Authentication (CoA). In Banksy’s case, these documents can only come from one legitimate source: Pest Control. They are the handling service for Banksy and the only agency who can confirm with a certificate whether the purchased piece is genuine. No gallery, auction house or collector will accept your piece without one.
All Banksy artworks created after 2009 come with a Pest Control certificate and it is the only place you can buy (the very rare) new prints by the artist. We’ve put together a Pest Control Guide that explains the process in more detail.
Before 2009, Banksy’s prints were sold through Pictures on Walls (POW). These works can include a Pictures on Walls embossed circular stamp, which might be authentic, but many have been forged – so it’s strongly recommended you seek out expert advice.
If the Banksy print you have your eye on doesn’t have a certificate, then we don’t recommend buying it (Banksy’s graffiti works also do not have certificates, but they were never intended for sale). You do see fake certificates being listed, so make sure you know what to look for.
Or, speak to one of our specialist brokers who can help you manage the process of authenticating your work for free.
You should always make sure the print that is being sold to you is in pristine condition. It is often the responsibility of the seller to ensure condition checking has taken place, and in case of any damage bring in a restoration expert to advise.
A few things to note to ensure the condition and authenticity of a print: a Banksy art print will typically be a handmade silkscreen with unique colours, on wove art paper, with a crisp resolution which is far superior to a cheap replica or a poster. Early works such as Rude Copper were printed on a significantly thinner paper stock than the later prints, such as Stop And Search.
Once you have bought your Banksy print, it is vital you keep it in perfect condition, as this will affect their future value. Any prints and canvases should be kept in a dark place away from sunlight. Works on paper should have UV-protective glass framing. Some collectors go as far as keeping their prints lying flat in a dark place in order to optimise value and will advertise the piece as having been kept this way. Ensure the work has been inspected carefully before buying and consult an expert if you are in any doubt.
Banksy prints are available on the secondary market: they can be bought online, at auctions, and through private sales handled by a broker (such as ourselves). Currently, Banksy prints are only available on the secondary market – no works are available via Banksy or Pest Control, so you need to buy one from an existing private collector.
Starting out collecting art this way can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. As we’ve seen above, whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned collector, one of the keys to starting to collect Banksy is buying from a trusted source. Always take expert guidance on the value, condition and provenance of a piece – something that a professional seller will be able to offer.
The most important thing is to buy from somewhere that makes the process comfortable and transparent – buying a Banksy is meant to be an exciting prospect, not something that makes you nervous!
To learn more, we recommend reading our comprehensive Guide To Auction v Private Sale in the Banksy Market.
Want to find Banksy art for sale? Browse our Banksy artworks.
Why use MyArtBroker to find your first Banksy?
At MyArtBroker we offer a safe and simple solution to buyers, connecting you directly with our expert brokers, who — if you are wishing to purchase a particular piece of Banksy art to either start or grow your collection — can assist you in this search with our large network of collectors looking to buy and sell daily. Our brokers will also condition check and authenticate artworks, so you can have confidence before you buy.
A dedicated broker
MyArtBroker offers a secure space to connect you as a buyer with an expert broker.
Your personal broker will work with you to find the Banksy you’re looking for at the price you’re willing to pay. Our experts will also condition check and authenticate artworks, so you can have confidence before you buy, as well as help arrange delivery.
We offer both the sense of trust and comfort that comes with meeting with a specialist personally, as well as the efficiency, transparency and ease of an online process.
Our global network consists of over 15,000 collectors buying and selling works daily, as well as dealers, collectors, galleries and independent experts globally that work with us to ensure we can offer the most covetable and authentic Banksy works. Our website has 75,000 visitors every month, and we regularly publish pieces tracking the artist’s market performance, keep up to date with new works, auction results and news, as well as offer his updated biography and informative essays on all Banksy editions.
MyArtBroker has access to a worldwide network of art collectors selling Banksy artwork, so get in touch with us if you’re interested in buying a Banksy print and we’ll talk you through the process.