Where Gaming Meets Art: Funding VistaVenus Through Girl With Balloon Print Sale
Funding Business Through Art Print Sales

Girl With Balloon - Banksy print
Florence Whittaker

Florence Whittaker, Urban Art Specialist & Sales Director[email protected]

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Investing in art, more specifically, art prints, is a fantastic way to diversify your portfolio with tangible assets. Unlike the primary market, you can more easily track value growth using online tools and data sets, such as the ones provided by MyArtBroker. This enables you to be able to access the data you need to be in control of your asset, meaning you can trade art as needed to help raise the funds needed for other investments.

Case Study: Funding Business With The Sale Of Art

In 2005, Mark Wools purchased a Banksy ‘Girl With Balloon’ print for £150 from Santa’s Ghetto - Banksy’s ‘squat art concept store’ in London, “Suddenly, I was completely surrounded by hundreds of his now most famous artworks. I literally fanned my fingers through a pile of signed ‘Girl with Balloon’ screenprints - finally settling on one which I felt had the brightest red heart!”

Mark Wools, founder of Vistavenus, a ‘pioneering mobile game that offers plays an engaging blend of expiration, platforming, and community connection.’, came to MyArtBroker in 2020 to sell his work having tracked the success of Banksy prints during the lockdown and pandemic period which saw results such as a hammer price of £376,984 at Christie’s London in April 2021.

“Over the years its value began to rise so dramatically that it started to become too valuable to have on my living room wall, too expensive to insure on my house insurance... and certainly too precious to remain in a £15 IKEA frame!”
Mark Wools
Vistavenus business card next to Banksy's Girl With Balloon signed printImage © Vistavenus © Mark Wools 2023

Wools decided he wanted to use the funds raised from selling the Banksy print to invest in his own purpose-driven gaming company.

“As much as I deeply cherished the [print], the opportunity to contribute its value to something as innovative, purpose-driven and meaningful as VistaVenus felt right. Selling it for £425,000 (a record-breaking amount for its signed edition at time of sale) to fund a game that promotes inclusivity, creativity, discovery, balance and positive progression, is a decision that aligns with my values, and I believe Banksy's too! Art has the power to inspire and transform, and I'm excited to see how VistaVenus will touch the lives of young players around the world."

“MyArtBroker helped me to sell my rare… …Banksy. Every aspect of my dealings with Joe & his fantastic team & company have been seamlessly-smooth. Right from the offset they ensured all insurances were in place to protect the works when in their possession, they then organised a brilliant Conservator (at their own expense) to lightly-spruce the piece back to its most pristine original state - ensuring that not only did it reach the best sale price possible, but that it was also in the best condition possible for the buyer too.

Considering the high value of the works, a buyer was found extremely quickly, and the entire deal, from first meeting Joe, to the funds landing in my account, was completed within one month. The fees were extremely fair also, way lower that the 30%+ commissions that the auction houses were quoting.

Most importantly, a percentage of the final sale amount was shared back to Banksy too, through Artists Resale Rights - so hopefully he/she/they, can enjoy a nice Kebab from Jason Donervan on the Triangle - or maybe a couple of cold cans on Turbo Island instead?” - Mark Wools

Joe Syer, co-founder of MyArtBroker commented on the brokering of the sale:

“We’re honoured to have played a part in VistaVenus’s journey by facilitating the sale of Mark’s ‘Girl with Balloon’. VistaVenus’s mission to build positive change for young people and challenge any negative practices within the gaming industry seems entirely consistent with Banksy’s recurring motifs of activism, particularly in defence of young people. VistaVenus’s focus on community, inclusivity, creativity and slapstick humour is uniquely akin to that of the Street & Urban Art genre, and therefore a perfectly apt tribute to both Banksy’s complete portfolio, and his most famous work ‘Girl with Balloon’.”

The act of selling artworks and prints to fund a venture like Mark Wools has, is a fantastic addition to an artworks legacy. And who knows what works might fund future business ventures...