Shill Bidding and Dodgy Back Stories - Banksy's Charity Artwork Doesn't Sell

The story was simple, but charming: a woman, working at a thrift store raising money for homeless people with AIDs sells a painting for $50. Weeks later, the painting is re-donated, having been edited somewhat by controversial street artist Banksy.

Banksy Meat Truck in New YorkBanksy's Meat Truck in New York attracts attention

Everyone saw it as the perfect way to end a brilliant residency. Enigmatic graffiti man (or woman?) Banksy has been in the Big Apple, making waves, selling art for hardly anything and filling meat trucks with soft toys. The Banality of the Banality of Evil – the painting’s name – was a step too far.

Whoever decided to blow over $600k on the painting had a change of heart when they decided the charity – The Housing Works – made up the whole thing. They were in on it the whole time, according to the unnamed buyer, so the deal was called off.

"We are still looking into why he defaulted, and we reserve the right to sort of see what we're going to do with it," Matthew Bernardo, the chief development officer of Housing Work told TPM. "But we were really looking to close the transaction so we could put the money to use."

Wil Emling, a Minneapolis-based broker who bid on the painting on behalf of the private buyer told the Guardian: "It's all part of the hype, part of the marketing machine that is Banksy. The whole back-story to this painting is completely false. There are just too many questions.”

When the painting was sold, Housing Works spokeswoman, Rebecca Edmonson said: "This marks the highest revenue in the history for any one item sold by Housing Works in any of its 12 thrift shops or online. It means a lot that the artist is using his time in New York to give back to the very community that has been captivated by his every move."

But it wasn’t just the back story that put the buyer off, even if it was - in fairness to the charity - the sort of thing Banksy would do. Shill bidding was suspected, meaning whoever was in pole position to but the painting thinks someone upped the price illegally.

Banksy's 'The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil' Painting Unveiled At Housing Works Store:

"It's not uncommon for the price of a lot to go up in the final minutes, even by hundreds of dollars, but I do question that this painting jumped by several hundred thousand dollars. The increments were no longer logical," said Emling. "People were just jumping in, and it looked to me like they were deliberately trying to get the price up."

So Housing Works look to be missing out on a large sum of money, and Banksy’s residency ends on a sour note. The Banality of The Banality of Evil is still available, too, if you’ve got $600-odd thousand.


Contactmusic

Tags: Banksy


Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Why Going Solo Is The Best Thing For One Direction’s Harry Styles

All good things must come to an end someday, which means that One Direction...

Why Going Solo Is The Best Thing For One Direction’s Harry Styles

Star Wars: Episode VII Plot Leak, or Luke Skywalker's Severed Hand

A Star Wars Episode 7 plot leak, from the usually reliable Badass...

Star Wars: Episode VII Plot Leak, or Luke Skywalker's Severed Hand

Pharrell, Kylie, Maroon 5 And A Bunch Of Newcommers Announced For iTunes Festival 2014

Apple’s iTunes Festival 2014 isn’t until September, but there are already...

Pharrell, Kylie, Maroon 5 And A Bunch Of Newcommers Announced For iTunes Festival 2014

Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' is an Early Oscars Favorite

It’s July 21 and we’re already speculating about Boyhood’s chances at 2015’s...

Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' is an Early Oscars Favorite

Simpsons Death: It's Krusty The Clown or Rabbi Hyman Krustofski

Speaking at a Television Critics Association panel on Sunday, Simpsons...

Simpsons Death: It's Krusty The Clown or Rabbi Hyman Krustofski

Early (Really Early) 'Guardians of The Galaxy' Opinions Are Positive

While we’re still waiting for the official set of reviews to hit the net, Guardians...

Early (Really Early) 'Guardians of The Galaxy' Opinions Are Positive
Advertisement

Despite Being Re-Cast, Charlie Hunnam Is Still Rooting For "Fifty Shades Of Grey"

In case you’re not interested in Fifty Shades of Grey news, look away now...

Despite Being Re-Cast, Charlie Hunnam Is Still Rooting For

Get On Up Trailer

Since he was a child, he knew he'd become a star. He may not have had the easiest life growing up...

Get On Up Trailer

Are The Cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' Worth $1 Million Per Episode?

Production of season 8 of the TheBig Bang Theory is yet to be confirmed as...

Are The Cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' Worth $1 Million Per Episode?


More recommendations

Advertisement

Comments

Banksy Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Banksy

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All