The Expert Guide To Selling A Banksy

Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Co-Founder & Specialist[email protected]

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Banksy, a Bristol-based artist, rose to prominence in the early 1990s, acclaimed by some as a guerrilla hero and misunderstood by others. Banksy's art market performance is profoundly unique, particularly through the success in prints. In 2024, original Banksy artworks are increasingly scarce, yet his activism continues to make an impact, boldly and swiftly addressing geopolitical issues in the face of silence. If you're looking to sell a Banksy print, this guide provides essential insights to ensure your print finds the right buyer at the best time. Here are expert tips to help navigate your selling journey effectively.

MyArtBroker’s approach to selling Banksy has been recommended by Street Art Bio in their article ‘How to Sell a Banksy: Best in Class‘.

Banksy Vs. The Art Market

Since the outset, Banksy has vocally opposed the art market, a sentiment underscored by various 'stunts' and artworks. One early demonstration was the 2006 Morons screen print, a critical, yet humorous, satire depicting an auctioneer amidst a crowded sale, first showcased at the Barely Legal exhibition in Los Angeles. The most iconic Banksy moment occurred in 2018 when Girl With Balloon was auctioned at Sotheby's and famously shredded at the gavel, fetching £1.04 million (with fees), a direct statement against institutional lavishness.

In 2019, Devolved Parliament, depicting chimpanzees in the House of Commons, fetched £9.9 million, prompting Banksy to criticise art's commercialisation on Instagram. Following it's sale, Banksy posted a quote from art critic Robert Hughes, noting how the price of art has become integral to its purpose: “its new job is to sit on the wall and get more expensive.” Banksy has also underscored aversion to art galleries in “Wall and Piece,” describing gallery-goers as mere tourists in the trophy cabinets of millionaires. Banksy's refusal of gallery representation, unprecedented among street artists of his stature, reinforces the vocal opposition to the art market and its institutions, reflected in tongue-in-cheek critiques through art.

Despite Banksy's interventions, his market demonstrated resilience following a remarkable surge from 2020 to 2021, but began to undergo correction in 2022. However, the key point to note is that during these peak years, the Banksy market became unsustainable with inflated prices and an oversupply resulting from numerous sales. In 2023, Banksy sales declined but still held up amidst geopolitical challenges and a softening market landscape. Now, in 2024, Banksy sales have stabilised to more sustainable levels, with print works now valued appropriately for current conditions, often exceeding estimates and indicating sustained demand. For a detailed analysis of Banksy's print market performance over the past seven years, explore The Banksy Report: Seven Years In The Print Market.

How To Estimate The Value Of Your Banksy Print

Understanding the value of Banksy prints is pivotal when considering selling. Print values vary based on edition size, with smaller editions typically more desirable due to rarity. Banksy's print market covers a wide range of subjects, often conveying bold political messages, with certain themes in higher demand than others. His prints also vary in colourways, with specific colours often commanding greater interest in the market.

Many prints derive from Banksy's renowned street murals, further influencing their value, especially if associated with Banksy's celebrity-studded and acclaimed exhibitions or released by Pictures On Walls (POW), Banksy's initial publisher. Given the elusive, and transitioning nature of street art to the print market, and POW's loose management, early Banksy prints occasionally resurface with significant value if authenticated by Pest Control. Certain works in early printing are Test proofs, signed editions will always fetch higher prices. To gauge current market values, researching recent sales and auction results, along with consulting experts familiar with Banksy's market, is crucial when deciding the best time and way to sell your Banksy print.

Browse Banksy prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about print market performance in the Banksy Investment Guide.

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Is your Banksy signed or unsigned?

A key element contributing to the strength of Banksy's print market lies in the distinction between signed and unsigned editions, each holding its own inherent value. Unsigned prints typically range in editions from 600 to 750, while signed prints are more limited, often around 150 editions. Signatures and edition numbers are usually located in the lower corners of the print, sometimes indicating if it's an artist proof (AP). The precise placement can vary; for instance, Donuts (Strawberry) (2009) features a pink crayon signature in the lower left corner next to the edition number, whereas No Ball Games (grey) (2009) is signed within the printed image in the lower right corner and numbered in the left. Unsigned prints are hand-numbered, located in either lower corner, and some bear a stamped signature in black, red, or white, like Flying Copper (2003), Barcode (2004), and HMV Dog (2003). However, prints such as Trolley Hunters (2006) and Girl With Balloon (2004) only display a numbered edition without a stamp. Banksy's signature, written in distinct uppercase letters, and its stamped replica are critical factors to highlight when selling your print.

Double line graph illustrating the average selling price of signed and unsigned Banksy prints from 2014 to 2024. Average Selling price of Signed/Unsigned Banksy Prints, 2014-2024 © MyArtBroker

It's common for signed editions to be in higher demand and fetch higher prices, but in Banksy's print market, unsigned prints have proven equally popular. During Banksy's peak years, the tremendous demand for his artworks led to unsigned prints fetching prices comparable to signed ones, contributing to market saturation. Recently, in 2023, the average selling price (ASP) for both signed and unsigned prints decreased from 2022, with unsigned prints showing a less pronounced decline compared to signed prints, only by 37%. This highlights ongoing demand for Banksy prints and a trend towards more affordable options amid a softening global market. Banksy's most recent print market data in 2024 reveals an increase in the ASP of signed prints and a slight decrease for unsigned prints due to their higher market volume.

Pest Control - MyArtBrokerPest Control © Pest Control

How to authenticate a Banksy

Ensuring authenticity when selling any print requires all necessary paperwork and receipts, which establish provenance. Unique to Banksy's print market, a pivotal element enabling the artist to manage the market effectively, and independently, was the establishment of Pest Control in 2009. Serving as the exclusive authentication body for Banksy prints, Pest Control issues certificates of authenticity (COA) for both signed and unsigned prints, as well as originals. Pest Control does not authenticate street works or assess the monetary value of the artwork; rather, it verifies its legitimacy.

Pest Control was established in 2009 as a means for Banksy to assert control over the artist's own market. Given Banksy's outspoken stance against auction houses and concerns about market saturation and short-term flipping in the print market, Pest Control served as a platform to safeguard Banksy's intellectual property rights. By registering works, this allowed a more effective distribution, and Banksy gained the legal leverage to challenge any misuse or unauthorised use of the artist's art, solidifying ownership and authority over individual creative output. Pest Control also played a role in regulating the secondary market to some extent. The lengthy process to obtain a Pest Control certificate helps control the influx of Banksy prints into the market. Moreover, Pest Control enhances the value of Banksy prints by adding an element of exclusivity. It ensures that only authenticated artworks, endorsed by Banksy, enter the market, thereby maintaining scarcity and perceived value among collectors. Learn m ore about verifying Banksy prints via Pest Control.

It's essential to keep all paperwork related to your artwork's purchase. Provenance is critical when selling your Banksy piece as serious buyers prioritise authenticity. Without proper documentation, the resale value could significantly decrease. Reputable auction houses and online trading floors require a Pest Control COA to even consider consigning a Banksy print for sale; they won't accept it without one.

Assessing the condition of your Banksy print

The condition of a print significantly impacts its value. Banksy's prints, were produced from the early 2000s when street artists were just beginning to venture into printmaking with publishers, often faced uncertain resale potential. Many prints were initially gifted to publishers, a common practice among American Pop artists as well. However, without foresight into their future value, inadequate care could lead to damage over time. In the current market landscape, pristine condition is crucial for maintaining value. If a Banksy print, whether signed or unsigned, sells below its estimated value on the market, poor condition is often the cause. To assess your print's condition accurately, it is highly recommended to seek a professional appraisal.

At MyArtBroker, our sales experts offer free, no-obligation valuations that consider the print's condition. We also collaborate with trusted conservation experts who can provide restoration guidance if needed. Early Banksy prints, primarily produced on wove paper by POW, are particularly susceptible to issues like undulation caused by environmental changes. In other circumstances, it becomes necessary to remove tape from the back of a print. If not done by a professional, this process can cause skinning. This occurs when some paper fibres are lifted off along with the tape, damaging the print and diminishing the artwork's value. Proper handling and restoration can mitigate these risks and preserve the print's value.

Discover how to care for your Banksy print and submit it for a free valuation here.

Bubble chart showing the sales value and distribution fo Banksy's Choose Your Weapon print. Banksy Choose Your Weapon, where the size of the bubble represents the number of works sold © MyArtBroker

When to sell a Banksy print

Banksy Print Demand

When considering selling a print, timing is crucial but can be challenging to determine without understanding the art market's dynamics. Having a trusted professional by your side is always recommended. The peak public auction seasons are in spring and autumn, featuring the highest-valued works. However, various print sales also occur throughout the summer months. One critical factor to watch for is market saturation, which occurs when numerous similar prints in auction sales create competition and drive down prices. Auction houses often include only one or two prints by the same artist to avoid this, and those in better condition typically fetch higher prices.

Banksy's print market is extensive, so it's essential to track which prints are trending and which colourways achieve the highest results. For instance, Banksy's Choose Your Weapon (CYW) collection was produced in various and vibrant colourways with varied edition sizes. Certain colourways from this collection are more prominent in the market by volume, whereas others are marked by rairty and command a higher sales value. The record price for this print is CYW (fluoro green), and has only appeared on the secondary market once selling for £302,400 (with fees).

Refer to our market study to learn more about the value of Banksy's CYW collection. If you are interested in the market performance of other iconic prints, MyArtBroker can help. We offer extensive resources and conduct detailed market reports that analyse these nuanced factors. For detailed information on the demand for specific collections, access The Banksy Report: Seven Years in the Print Market. For information on other collections, get in touch with us for a free valuation.

Banksy In The Media

Like any market, media attention significantly impacts an artist's success, including exhibitions, retrospectives, and auction sales exceeding estimated values. For Banksy, key indicators include street murals and political activism. One notable example is Game Changer, painted in recognition of the NHS during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. A year later, a spray-painted rendition on canvas sold at Christie's for £16.8 million.

Another instance was in November 2022, following a series of murals in Ukraine from Kyiv to Borodyanka. Banksy expressed his solidarity with the country by releasing a new artwork in print form, raising money for the international charity Legacy of War Foundation. This not only highlights Banksy's engagement in charitable causes but also piques interest in his art within the print market.

In June 2023, Banksy announced Cut n Run, premiering in Glasgow with plans to travel, though no destination has been announced yet. In March 2024, Banksy debuted a tree mural in North London and recently appeared at Glastonbury with a life raft infiltration. Banksy's return to his roots in activism and street murals signals a thriving market, promising exciting developments in the latter months of the year.

Where can I sell my Banksy art?

It is also essential to consider the various selling avenues available when deciding to sell your Banksy print. The main options are through an auction house, an online platform, or a private sale, each with its own distinct advantages that vary according to the unique nature of each artist's market. Deciding on the right platform to sell a Banksy will depend on your level of confidence and expertise in the art market.

Selling Banksy Via Auction House

Auction houses are a popular choice for various reasons, including their market reach and expertise in the trade. If you decide to consign via auction, they will appraise your work and help determine a reserve price, the minimum amount you will accept for the sale. The theatrical nature of auctions can drive the price of your work above expectations, though there is no guarantee; it could also result in an unsold piece, which can damage the resale value of the specific print and the artist's market.

Auction houses offer a level of comfort by assessing the condition of the work and verifying its authenticity, which are key details for achieving the highest price. They also have the established market base to attract. However, there are high fees associated with auction house sales, often times in excess of 25%. Seller's usually do not have a say in the determined value of the consigned work and auction sales operate on a strict selling schedule. There is sometimes a backlog, meaning you could wait several months to sell your artwork, resulting in delayed liquidity. Additionally, during this waiting period, the fickle nature of the art market can cause the value of your work to change.

To explore the pros and cons of selling through an auction house, read MyArtBroker's Guide to Auction vs. Private Sale.

Selling Banksy via an online auction

New sellers are often drawn to public online platforms like eBay, attracted by the large audience and small commission fees. However, we strongly advise against using unregulated online platforms. While eBay has policies and guidelines to promote a safe trading environment, it lacks the regulation and professional oversight found in traditional auction houses or specialised art platforms. This can increase the risk of issues such as misrepresentation, counterfeit items, or disputes over condition and authenticity. We highly recommend working with art professionals who specialise in marketing and have the right client base to ensure you receive the maximum value for your work.

Selling Banksy Private Sale Via Broker

There is also the option of a private sale, which can be conducted through individual brokers. Brokers offer a more personalised experience, allowing for more contact and discussion regarding the value of your work. When choosing to sell via a broker, it's important to select one with the right client base who specialises in the type of artwork you're selling and understands the nuances of the artist's market. Private brokers can assist with questions about authenticity, help set realistic prices, and connect you with potential buyers at a more relaxed pace compared to the stringent schedule of auction sales.

Why sell your Banksy with MyArtBroker?

A Dedicated Broker

Another alternative to private sales is using an online platform like MyArtBroker. In the current landscape, the art market is shifting towards online private transactions, allowing sellers to protect the value of their prints without worrying about a non-sale in the public market. By selling with MyArtBroker, you'll work with one of our sales experts who can guide you through the valuation process and help you understand the current market landscape and demand for your print with our free to use art tech tools. Get in touch with us today to speak with one of our sales experts and request a free valuation for your work.

Download the Art Tech Report to discover full access to MyArtBroker's art valuation tools.

MINIMISE RISK

At MyArtBroker, transparency and security are paramount in every art transaction. Our due diligence process ensures the authentication and verification of artwork provenance, utilising our internal expertise and collaborating with trusted external partners when necessary. This approach effectively reduces the risk of trading counterfeit or stolen artworks. Additionally, we mitigate the uncertainties associated with public auctions, where unsold prints can negatively impact an artist's market. Private sales circumvent this risk, providing faster liquidity for your artwork compared to the rigid schedules of auction houses.

0% SELLER’S FEES, 100% OF THE TIME

Our team specialises in acquiring rare and special edition prints, catering to both seasoned collectors and newcomers alike. We offer complimentary valuations and charge no seller's fees, setting us apart from other private dealers and traditional auction houses. By minimising overhead costs, we focus on digital innovation and targeted marketing strategies through our extensive network and in-house magazine.

When selling artwork, securing the best price hinges on reaching a niche market with an established collector base. MyArtBroker possesses extensive knowledge in blue chip artist print markets, particularly Banksy's. Founder and Banksy expert Joe Syer, along with other sales experts, have been involved in the Banksy print market since before its peak and continue to navigate its nuances effectively. Partnering with experts like ours ensures superior results when selling your print. Listen to Joe and our team of experts discuss the current state of Banksy's market in our online panel discussion.

OUR NETWORK

Our dynamic live Trading Floor comprises over 30,000 collectors looking to buy and sell, with specific works in high demand. Trading floors are at the forefront of art sales in today's market, offering you access to an exclusive space where you can observe real-time market demand for specific prints0–a unique feature unavailable on any other selling platform. This innovation fundamentally transforms art investment and trading in the digital era. By providing real-time market data and insights from a global community of collectors, we establish value based on convenience, accessibility, and exceptional transparency and security. This approach benefits tens of thousands of users who rely on our platform for seamless transactions and informed decision-making.

To gain insights into art investment from the most sought-after blue chip artists, download our market reports.

BANKSY COLLECTION MANAGEMENT WITH MYPORTFOLIO

MyArtBroker's MyPortfolio is a comprehensive collection management tool that enables collectors to manage and monitor their prints and editions, tracking their current values. This feature offers access to our extensive print market database, which includes over 50,000 auction histories from global auction houses, and is integrated with our proprietary algorithm, SingularityX. SingularityX analyses public auction and private sales data to provide real-time valuations for individual prints, taking into account factors such as condition, colour, and other variables influencing value. Financial Quant expert Stuart Jamieson provides further insight into the workings of these algorithms in an interview.

Advanced art technology tools are essential for navigating today's dynamic digital art market. For instance, integrating Banksy prints into the MyPortfolio dashboard on our website allows users to monitor unique sales opportunities and track market performance in real time, simplifying the sales process. Our innovative technology has revolutionised art portfolio management, enhancing accessibility and providing data-driven insights for informed decision-making. MyArtBroker leverages cutting-edge technology driven by comprehensive data analysis, complemented by our team of industry professionals, to deliver an exceptional experience.

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