Banksy painting sells for record $12.21M at auction

Banksy’s Devolved Parliament, sold for £9.88 million or about $12.2 million at Sotheby’s London. COURTESY SOTHEBY’S

A painting by the mysterious artist Banksy, showing the British Parliament as a gathering of chimpanzees, has been auctioned off for nearly £10 million, just days after the body was ordered reconvened in hopes of stopping Brexit. The oil-on-canvas painting, which stands at 13 feet, was only estimated to be worth between $1.8 million and $2.5 million before the sale.

It was referring to the auto-destruction of Banksy's Girl with Balloon, now known as Love is in the Bin, as the gavel came down to seal the final bid of £1.04 million at a Sotheby's auction in October 2018.

Unfortunately for Sir Banksalot, he is not the one getting the money from this new sale.

That obliterated the previous record, $1.9 million for his stenciling over a Damien Hirst piece, and went well beyond Sotheby's expected $1.9 million to $2.5 million price tag.

That's a record for the mysterious British street artist.

A flyer posted on Banksy's Instagram, titled "Gross Domestic Product", suggests an online sale will open soon.

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Banksy first unveiled the painting, then entitled Question Time, a decade ago for an exhibition in his home city of Bristol, southwest England.

"Regardless of where you sit in the Brexit debate, there's no doubt that this work is more pertinent now than it has ever been, capturing unprecedented levels of political chaos and confirming Banksy as the satirical polemicist of our time".

Despite being painted in 2009, many commentators had drawn comparisons to current-day politics, namely the increasingly brutish exchanges in the House of Commons over Britain's pending departure from the European Union, or Brexit.

The artwork, "Devolved Parliament", shows chimpanzees sitting in place of politicians in the UK's parliament.

Banksy, the famously anonymous United Kingdom street artist who loves rats and paper shredders and definitely is not in Massive Attack, is now responsible for making a presumably already-rich person even wealthier than before, thanks to the sale of a painting of apes he did that has sold for a staggering price tag of just over AUD$18 million.

"Shame I didn't still own it" said the anonymous artist. "'Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge'". "Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day", Banksy wrote on his Instagram account in March, adding the quotation: "Laugh now, but one day no one will be in charge".

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