In their first auction of the decade, Phillips will be selling artworks from two of the century’s most hotly-sought after artist’s: Banksy and KAWS.

Banksy, Laugh Now (2002) Courtesy Phillips

In a selling exhibition titled Ten Monkeys and a Dolphin: Banksy and KAWS, Phillips will bring together a total of twenty artworks from the artists, including both well-known artworks and some of their lesser-known paintings, prints and sculptures. The pieces from the two artists will have price tags attached ranging from $25,000 to an estimated $4 million.

Last year both artists broke records with their sales. Banksy’s Devolved Parliament (2019) sold for $12 million at Sotheby’s in London. And KAWS’s The KAWS Album (2019) sold for $14.8million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, almost fifteen times its original estimate.

Although the Phillips’ head of private sales, Miety Heiden, has said the artists’ previous year’s sales were largely anomalous, the two artists’ work have sold for far more than their original estimates on several occasions, so the price tags attached on the works in Ten Monkeys and a Dolphin: Banksy and KAWS could ultimately be exceeded.

“The market is very deep for both these artists,” Heiden told Artnet News. “We see more and more people coming into this market every day, but it’s still not at the price levels of Warhol or Basquiat, so it’s still very accessible for a big group of art collectors.”


KAWS, Piranhas When You’re Sleeping (2016) Courtesy: Phillips

All twenty artworks are reportedly form one anonymous European collector. This is the same European collector who paired with Phillips last year to bring Taipei the Banksy exhibition, Banksy: The Authentic Rebel, with four works from the show on sale in this exhibition.

Among the exhibition will be Banksy’s infamous Laugh Now (2002) in which a chimpanzee wears a sandwich board that reads: “Laugh now because one day we’ll be in charge.”

Ten Monkeys and a Dolphin: Banksy and KAWS will be on view in New York from January 14 through to February 10. Because of the higher price tags the show is not expected to sell-out, but the popularity and demand of these artists never ceases to surprise.