Banksy’s playful take on Claude Monet’s famous impressionist garden scene has smashed expectations at auction, fetching more than £7.5m.
Show Me The Monet sold for £7,551,600 at a Sotheby’s event in London on Wednesday, and comes at a huge increase on an estimated sale price of between £3.5m to £5m.
Five different collectors battled with their bids for nearly nine minutes, the auction house said.
Created in 2005, the reimagining of the iconic piece sees shopping trollies and a traffic cone added to the idyllic water lily scene of Monet’s garden in Giverny.
It is now the second most expensive Banksy artwork sold at auction, following the sale of the Devolved Parliament piece for £9.9m last year.
The Monet take is also one of a series of the reclusive artist’s pieces that reimagine canonical works.
The series, titled Crude Oil, includes wilting and dead sunflowers in the famous Vincent van Gogh piece, an angry man in Union Jack underwear confronting Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and model Kate Moss superimposed over Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said the iconic depiction of the Giverny garden had been transformed into a “modern-day fly-tipping spot” and had become one Banksy’s most important paintings.
He added: “More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies and a fluorescent orange traffic cone.
“Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favour of the wasteful excesses of consumerism.”
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