Banksy Value: Top Prices Paid at Auction

Mosquito by BanksyMosquito © Banksy 2003
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The average value of Banksy's artwork has experienced a 26% compound annual growth rate over the last 5 years, with signed limited edition Banksy prints selling for anywhere between £3000 and £882,000 at auction in 2022. From recent pieces, such as Love Is In The Bin (2021) or Game Changer (2020), to older paintings like Forgive Us Our Trespassing (2011), the artist has seen the value of his art go through the roof; achieving fame in the early 2000s, the non-conformist Bristol-born street artist has only cemented his canonical status since—learn more about Banksy's market here.

The most expensive Banksy art can be worth millions, but what is the highest price ever paid for a Banksy? The highest price ever paid for a Banksy original was achieved in 2019, when the infamous shredded Banksy painting, Love Is In The Bin (2018), sold for a staggering £18.6M, when it returned to auction at Sotheby's.

Under the hammer, Banksy's prints and artworks have broken countless records and reached unexpected heights. This article explores the most expensive Banksy pieces sold at auction to date.

£18.6M for 14th October 2021: Love Is In The Bin

What is the key to making returns on a Banksy? Destroying it, apparently. Love Is In The Bin had an incredible increase in value when it returned to auction, in it’s half-shredded condition, at Sotheby’s London on 14 October 2021, and became the most expensive Banksy artwork yet.

Back in 2018, Banksy pulled one of the most famous stunts in contemporary art history, when he tried to destroy his painting Girl with Balloon, now Love Is In The Bin, at Sotheby’s auction house. As the hammer went down on an already record-breaking sale of the print, Girl with Balloon slid through a hidden shredder in the frame and produced an altogether new work, as well as a viral auction video.

Love Is In The Bin is both the only work of art ever to be created live at auction and the all-time highest selling Banksy, achieving almost £18.6 million when the original anonymous buyer (Sotheby's only disclosed that the pranked buyer was a "private European collector") returned it to auction in 2021.

£16.8M for 23rd March 2021: Game Changer

Game Changer by Banksy - MyArtBrokerBanksy's Game Changer raised £16.8 million for the NHS at auction in March 2021. (Game Changer © Banksy 2020)

Banksy’s Game Changer raised £16.8 million for the NHS when it was sold at Christie’s 20th Century Art Evening Sale in London on 23 March 2021 – exactly one year after the UK’s first national lockdown. The price started at £1.6 million and skyrocketed as the 15-minute bidding battle unfolded, with the work eventually selling for almost seven times its £2.5 million lower pre-sale estimate.

Banksy donated the painting to Southampton General Hospital in May 2020, in recognition for the front-line workers’ tireless work during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. A reproduction of Game Changer now hangs in the same place at the hospital.

£10.7M for 9th November 2021: Sunflowers From Petrol Station

(US$14,558,000)

Sunflowers From Petrol Station by Banksy - MyArtBrokerSunflowers From Petrol Station © Banksy 2005

On 9 November, 2021, the iconic painting Sunflowers from Petrol Station sold for US$14.5million (£10.7million) at Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale in New York.

The work came directly from the private collection of the high profile British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, and transports Vincent Van Gogh’s world famous series of Sunflower paintings into the contemporary context of the climate crisis. Not only does this work exemplify Banksy’s skill as a painter, but it is also exemplary of the artist’s unmatched ability to use wit and humour to point to pressing global issues. 

£9.9M for 3rd October 2019: Devolved Parliament

Devolved Parliament by Banksy Sells for $12 Million at Sotheby's - MyArtBrokerDevolved Parliament Sells for $12 Million at Sotheby's (Devolved Parliament © Banksy 2009)

Banksy’s satirical painting of the House of Commons invaded by chimpanzees made headlines when it sold in the Sotheby’s Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale for £9.9 million on 3 October 2019. Spanning a huge 4 metres in width, Devolved Parliament was painted in 2009 and had a pre-sale estimate of just £1.5–2 million.

The artist reacted to the result by posting a quote on his Instagram from art critic Robert Hughes which included the line, ‘But the price of a work of art is now part of its function, its new job is to sit on the wall and get more expensive’ along with the comment, ‘Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it.’

£9.2M for 12th May 2021: Love Is In The Air

(US$12,903,000)

Love Is In The Air by Banksy - MyArtBrokerThe first physical artwork paid for in bitcoin, Banksy's Love Is In The Air sold for the vast sum of £9.2million. (Love Is In The Air © Banksy 2005)

This Banksy canvas of Love Is In The Air made headlines ahead of its sale at Sotheby’s in New York on 12 May 2021 for being the first physical artwork sold at auction where the buyer had the option to pay in bitcoin, ether or US dollars. Estimated at US$3-5million, it eventually achieved US$12.9million (£9.2million). Sotheby’s announced a day after the sale that they accepted a cryptocurrency payment for the painting.

£7.6M for 21st October 2020: Show Me The Monet

Show Me The Monet by Banksy - MyArtBrokerBanksy's Show Me The Monet fittingly became the second most expensive Banksy artwork ever sold at auction. (Show Me The Monet © Banksy 2005)

At £7,551,600, Show Me The Monet became the second most expensive Banksy artwork ever sold at auction when it sold at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on 21 October 2020.

Banksy had written in 2005, the year he made the canvas painting, that the “real damage done to our environment is not done by graffiti writers and drunken teenagers, but by big business… exactly the people who put gold-framed pictures of landscapes on their walls and try to tell the rest of us how to behave”. 15 years on, his critique remains as relevant as ever.

£6.3M for 4th October 2020: Forgive Us Our Trespassing

(HK$64,112,000)

Forgive Us Our Trespassing by Banksy - MyArtBrokerForgive Us Our Trespassing © Banksy 2011

Banksy's Forgive Us Our Trespassing from 2011 sold to an anonymous collector for HK$64.1 million (£6.3 million) after an eight-minute bidding battle at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on 4 October 2020.

At 7m tall, the painting is among Banksy’s largest known canvases and is a reworking of his 2010 graffiti painting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Banksy invited over 100 students from Los Angeles’ City of Angels school to help tag the piece’s graffiti-covered stained glass windows.

£6.0M for 18th November 2021: Love Is In The Air

(US$8,077,200)

Love Is In The Air by Banksy - MyArtBrokerLove Is In The Air continues to exceed estimates and rank among Banksy's highest auction prices, in November 2021. (Image © Sotheby's / Love Is In The Air © Banksy 2006)

Sold during Sotheby’s The Now Evening Auction in New York for US$8.1 million (£6 million) on 18 November 2021, this 2006 edition of Banksy’s Love Is In The Air has yet again exceeded its presale estimates at US$4-6million. Sotheby’s continues to accept cryptocurrency payments such as Ether or Bitcoin for the artwork. Set against a muted beige background, Banksy continues to solidify his stance on a social message concerning peace over violence.

A different Love Is In The Air canvas sold for a similar price more recently: offered by Sotheby's at a Hong Kong Auction, the hammer fell on a price of £5,180,130 in April 2022.

£4.6M for 30th June 2021: Subject To Availability

Subject To Availability by Banksy - MyArtBroker Subject To Availability © Banksy 2009

On this peaceful landscape of Seattle’s Mount Rainier National Park, painted by German-American artist Albert Bierstadt in 1890, Banksy has captioned in tiny letters at the bottom of the artwork: “*subject to availability for a limited period only” – a darkly humorous comment given that Mount Rainier is still an active volcano.

The painting sold for nearly £4.6 million at Christie’s in London on 30 June 2021.

£4.4M for 2nd March 2022: Vandalised Oil (Choppers)

Vandalised Oil (Choppers) by Banksy - MyArtBrokerImage © Sotheby's / Vandalised Oil (Choppers) © Banksy 2006

One of the most recognisable examples of Banksy’s Vandalised Oils series, this work epitomises the artist’s anti-war sentiment. Two approaching military helicopters burst forth from the skyline of Claude Lorraine’s pastoral oil painting beneath, creating a jarring amalgam of modern, hollywood-style violence with the apparent serenity of the landscape below.

Banksy also leans into the conflict between the typical ‘high art’ conventions of oil painting, captured by the gilt frame, with the bluntness associated with spray paint and street art.

Lifting imagery from footage of the Vietnam war, this work is likely a comment on the Iraq war, which took place at the time it was painted, and when Vandalised Oil (Choppers) sold for nearly £4.4 million in March 2022 at Sotheby’s London.

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