Find out more about Banksy’s Morons series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Morons is a screen print executed by Banksy in 2006, depicting an auctioneer conducting a sale to a room packed with bidders. It was first displayed at the artist’s iconic American exhibition Barely Legal, which took place in a warehouse in Los Angeles that same year.
Morons is one of six prints belonging to a rare and valuable collection referred to as the Barely Legal Print Set, which also includes the works Grannies, Applause, Trolleys, Sale Ends and Festival. Morons is one of the most detailed and intricate works from the set.
Morons was originally released at the exhibition as an edition of 100 unsigned prints, printed by Modern Multiples, that sold for $500 a piece. In 2007, Banksy’s UK-based printer Pictures of Walls re-edited additional Morons prints in three different colours, with a further 500 unsigned and 150 signed prints in pure monochrome, as well as 300 signed prints on a sepia background. The original LA edition differs from those released by Pictures of Walls, with the inclusion of a gold frame around one of the paintings portrayed within the print.
The image is based on the historical moment when Van Gogh's Sunflowers achieved a hammer price of £22,500,000 at Christie’s on 30 March 1987, setting the record price for any work of art at auction at the time. This moment marked the beginning of colossal changes in the art market, with the emergence of the first ‘mega lot’ auctions.
In the present work, the large canvas being auctioned humorously bears the words, in block capitals, ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MORONS ACTUALLY BUY THIS SHIT’. Banksy mocks the crowd, representing art collectors in general, that are ready to bid huge sums of money in order to acquire Banksy's work, or works by other famous artists. Ironically, the Morons screen print was included in Sotheby’s 2014 selling exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides entitled Banksy: The Unauthorized Retrospective.
Why is Morons important?
Morons recently appeared on Banksy’s website following a record-breaking auction result for one of his canvases. Depicting a crowd of art collectors gathered around an animated auctioneer, the work has often been interpreted as a satirical take on the contemporary art market, which Banksy blames for the sky-high prices that many artists, including Banksy himself, are able to generate.
As Pictures on Walls wrote on the screenprint's page: "Banksy makes a crap picture about how people pay a lot of money for crap pictures, which someone then ends up paying a lot of money for. A portion of irony eating itself, anyone?"
How do I buy Morons?
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