Competition over Banksy – POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair


Christie’s and Sotheby’s competing for Banksy

The world’s two most powerful auction companies are now clearly surfing the banksymania wave! In the coming autumn season, each firm will be organizing an online sale dedicated to the art world’s most famous anonymous person, a year after the theatrical self-destruction stunt involving his Girl With Balloon getting half-shredded seconds after being hammered down for more than a million dollars at Sotheby’s in London ($1.4 million, 5 October 2018). Christie’s and Sotheby’s are literally banking on Banks, expecting to attract bidders from around the world. BANKSY (1974) is currently the fourth most sought-after Contemporary artist on the market, with 550 works sold worldwide between July 2018 and June 2019, and his market never been so effervescent.

Sotheby’s will open its “Banksy / Online” sale on 6 September offering a number of bestsellers including the highly popular Girl With Balloon, a variation of the famous painting that was destroyed live last October. Numbered 80/150, the sheet is estimated between £60,000 and £80,000. Fans disappointed that they failed to win anything by the close of the online auction sale on 19 September can try again in the Christie’s sale, which continues until September 24th.

At Christie’s, the Banksy online sale is carrying the title I can’t believe you morons actually buy this sh*t, based on a Banksy print with the same title that appropriates a photo taken at Christie’s in 1987 at the famous auction of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Each of the 300 copies of this print, in this case offered in sepia, could reach £21,000 ($28,000). The same image already fetched that amount 10 years ago! (Forum Auction, 12 December 2017). The flagship lot of the Christie’s sale is a Girl With Balloon (Gold) print. Rarer than the one offered at Sotheby’s, it is estimated £150,000 – £250,000. The expectation of a 6-digit result reflects the fact that this is the first time a color variant is being offered at auction.

POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair

The sixth edition of POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair will be held from 12 to 15 September at Tempelhof Airport. Nearly 70 national and international galleries are invited to exhibit their artistic preferences in Contemporary and Modern art during Berlin Art Week. Among the 200-plus artists presented, the colourful abstract works of the Belgian painter Léopold PLOMTEUX (1920-2008) will be shown at Maus Contemporary (USA) and the ceramics of Greg PAYCE (1956) at the Montreal Art Mûr Gallery. The Bermel von Luxburg Gallery will present the immersive paintings of the young French painter Thomas CANTO (1979) and also the paintings of the very promising Robert PAN (1969) one of which reached over $22,200 on 1 April at Sotheby’s Hong Kong!

Several themes will be explored in Hangar 4. One section, titled Selected POSITIONS, will propose a selection of works measuring no more than 50 x 50 cm and not exceeding €1,900… a window of opportunity for young or future collectors to access the Art market at lower cost.

Another section titled Academy POSITIONS will be an opportunity to discover a panorama of young creation with works by graduates from German and Polish art schools. Outside the Hangar… Open Air POSITIONS will be a sculpture park with a selection of large format works.

The Berlin Art Prize will also be awarded at the fair. Finally, as part of the Friday Night POSITIONS, the galleries of the Berlin-based fair will remain open until 9pm on Friday night. For its third edition, the Art Berlin fair will take place simultaneously in Hangars 5 and 6 of the airport. On the sidelines of these two major events, a number of Berlin’s museums will be exhibiting young artists like Bani ABIDI (1971) at the Gropius Bau and Anna DAUČÍKOVÁ (1950) at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art.

Berlin Art Week has already attracted more than 120,000 visitors to its previous edition and has established itself as one of the highlights of Contemporary Art in the German capital. Promoting the city as a place of creation, celebration and discussion of art, this new edition is once again seeking to attract art lovers from all over the world and to establish the week as a primary reference in the global artistic calendar.