LONDON///WTF?!? FILES///UNDAUNTED BY ECONOMIC REALITY, ANDIPA GALLERY SEEKING $1.5 MILLION USD FOR SECONDARY MARKET BANKSY PAINTING
Banksy's "Are You Using That Chair," oil on canvas, from 2005. A steal at $1.5 mil, or just a painting deserving to be stolen?...
Despite the ripple effect of the economic crisis on the art world and the rapid deflation of the vastly overhyped “Street Art” scene in general, London-based ANDIPA GALLERY is currently staging a secondary market “flipper” show of work by BANKSY, the centerpiece of which carries a sticker price of nearly $1.5 million USD. No need to stop and re-read that sentence, you read it correctly the first time. Flying in the face of all rational thought, the gallery’s namesake dealer Acoris Andipa remains undaunted by modern reality and is determined to see “Are You Using That Chair,” a 14-foot-wide canvas dating from 2005 that depicts a drunken hooligan inserted into a copy of the famous Edward Hopper painting from 1942 titled “Nighthawks,” fetch a price that would have been expensive even in the overheated 2008 market. The piece is one of 35 high-priced originals currently on offer by the 400-year-old art institution (Andipa was established in 1593) and the first significant—if unsanctioned—show of Banksy’s work in 2009. Obviously hesitant of wading into the currently chilly waters of the modern art market, Banksy himself has been a ghost since late last year, keeping an incredibly low profile with only a few minor street pieces to his name so far. Despite the fact that values of Banksy originals have dropped a minimum of 30% – 50% since late last year, Andipa’s attitude on the artist’s bankability remains unshakably optimistic: “We’re still doing good business for originals,” he said recently. “We feel the long-term picture for Banksy is still rosy. He’s the artist who perfectly sums up the early 21st century. We aren’t dropping our prices” To date, the record price paid for a Banksy original remains the $1.9 million tag attached to the artist’s collaborative painting “Keep It Spotless,” executed with Damien Hirst for Project RED’s charity auction at Sotheby’s in NYC in early 2008. Until Obama pulls a magic rabbit out of his hat, we’re willing to bet that’s a record that holds true for quite some time to come. HAVE A LOOK:
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