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Auction World Record for Banksy at Bonhams
Banksy (British, b.1974), Tank - Embracing Couple. Spray paint on steel, 155 x 135cm (61 x 53 1/8in). Estimate: £5,000 - 8,000. This work was one of a number of studies for the cover of Blur's 'Think Tank' album.
LONDON, ENGLAND.- A spray paint on steel work by the renowned grafitti artist, Banksy soared 10 times its estimated to fetch £62,400 - an auction record for the artist in a sale of Vision 21 sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge today. After intense bidding, the lot sold to a bidder in the saleroom. Depicting an embracing couple wearing deep-sea diver’s helmets, the work was produced as one of the studies for the cover of Blur’s Think Tank music album.

The second Banksy lot in the sale also soared over 4 times its estimate fetching £31,200. Titled Young Child with Bird, this spray paint on steel work was also a study for the same Blur album.

The buyer comments “ I am delighted to purchase this particular work from the Think Tank group of works by Banksy. This work will remain in a private collection of Pop Art here in England.”

Banksy became involved in the Bristol aerosol boom in the late 80’s: “I started off painting graffiti in the classic New York style when you listen to too much hip hop as a kid, but I was never good at it. As soon as I cut my first stencil, I could feel the power there. The ruthlessness and efficiency of it is to start revolutions and to stop wars. They look political just through the style. Even a picture of a rabbit playing the piano looks hard as a stencil. It’s like the charge of the light entertainment brigade. Painting the streets means becoming an actual part of the city. It’s not a spectator sport.”

Vision 21 is the innovative sale that delivers great design, diverse style and inspiration dating from 1945 to the present day. Conceived 4 years ago, Vision 21 encompasses Post War Paintings, Prints, Photographs, Sculpture and Modern Design. Bonhams in Knightsbridge has a long-held reputation for innovative ideas and, over the years, has introduced many new areas of collecting – such as Contemporary Ceramics and Rock and Pop Memorabilia, which have challenged traditional categories.

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