An extraordinary new Banksy artwork has appeared at Southampton General Hospital today, which our experts value to be worth in excess of £5 million, but only time will tell if its subject matter will lead it to eclipse the £9.9 million that Devolved Parliament realised at auction last year.
Ian Syer, Co-founder of MyArtBroker.com says “Banksy has returned to the forefront of timely controversy with a unique one off canvas for the NHS that when auctioned could fetch well in excess of £5million.”
“Banksy has yet again captured the mood of the nation perfectly with Game Changer. This piece represents our inner feelings and hopes for the nations youth to aspire to be, and worship the real heroes that live and work amongst us, day in day out, rather than fictional or false celebrity status icons.”
Largely monochromatic and one square metre across the painting was created in collaboration with the hospital’s managers in a foyer near the emergency department. The work depicts a child playing with a doll dressed in nurses cloths, with Batman and Spiderman discarded in a bin. It is a clear and moving message that identifies the NHS as the true superhero of our time. The nurse’s outstretched arm is a clear visual motif of the comic book superhero so revered by children. Equipped with a face-mask, a cape, and an apron bearing the Red Cross symbol she is emblematic of the incredible work, and the publics respect and admiration for the work of the NHS during the COVID-19 Crisis.
Banksy’s Devolved Parliament – a painting of a tribe of chimpanzees in the House of Commons – sold for £9.9 million at Sotheby’s in October last year. The artist reacted to the result by posting the comment, ‘Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it.’ At MyArtBroker we are in no doubt of the interest there will be in this new extraordinary painting that documents – much like Devolved Parliament – the strain and politics of our times.
The artist left a note with the artwork for the hospital workers, which read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.” The painting is set to remain at Southampton General Hospital until the autumn when it will be auctioned to raise money for the NHS.
Paula Head, CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends.
As Banksy continues to be the only market to escape the economic crisis of Covid-19, it’s wonderful to see something from him go directly to the cause we all most avidly want to support right now.