Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Banksy Unauthenticated Street Piece Sells for $1.1 Million - The Establishment Takes Over
The LA Times is reporting that Banksy's 'Slave Labour' street art piece just sold at auction for $1.1 million dollars.
This Slave Labour piece has never been authenticated by Banksy's Pest Control team. What is strange about this situation in particular is that the FBI and the Scotland Yard got involved in this case. The FBI even released statements saying that "there is no evidence of criminality in the removal of this illegally painted" artwork.
Previous Banksy street pieces have failed to bring in high prices at auction because of the failure to be authenticated after being removed from the original locations. It seems this whole thing might be an attempt to skirt Pest Control and authenticate Banksy's art through FBI statements.
Some have suggested that the FBI became involved because it had been rumored online that Slave Labour had been 'stolen' from the walls, but the sellers of Slave Labour listed at auction are the owners of the building itself where the art was first painted. That single ownership of the chunk of wall seems like a simple fact to ascertain, therefore the rumors of the piece being stolen do not seem to warrant an investigation by the Scotland Yard and FBI. However, since Pest Control refuses to authenticate street pieces, it seems like the statements issued by the FBI are an attempt by the establishment to circumvent Pest Control and validate Banksy's Slave Labour piece. After all, even if Pest Control will not say the piece is legitimate, the biggest law enforcement agencies in Great Britain and American are issuing a tacit endorsement of the piece.
The establishment has now officially taken over the street art world. Or at least endorsed it.
Of course, to throw one more piece of the puzzle into the bucket, it has long been established that Banksy is very particular about where he places street piece, and Banksy has put up art on buildings and structures owned by people with whom he has a previous relationship. So maybe this was the way it was supposed to all happen?