Artist vows to destroy Banksy work he bought for $730K

Lawrence Kim
November 18, 2018

Famous Banksy work was done on the wall of a Poundland store in London and was directed against a ruthless Assembly line production of Souvenirs on the eve of the London Olympics, where he was involved in child labour migrants.

USA street artist Ron English has just forked out $730,000 (£561,000) for a Banksy artwork that he claims he'll whitewash as a protest of the market in street art. He also stated that street art "shouldn't be bought and sold".

He said: 'My idea for this painting is to whitewash it for my good pal Banksy, I only wish I could've spent more money for it. It should not be bought and sold.

The painting sold for 600,000 U.S. dollars plus the buyers premium, bringing the total to 730,000 United States dollars, Darren Julien, of Julien's Auctions said.

English says he's doing it because he's fed up of the way the art world is continually cutting off lumps of buildings in order to sell graffiti and stencil artworks designed for the streets to rich collectors, with this particular piece - known as Slave Labour and apparently raging against overseas labour being used to create cheap Olympic merchandise - coming from a Poundland wall in London. "We are exhausted of people that steal what we do, from the streets and resell", said the artist. "I'm insane but I'm not stupid", he added.

English's announcement is the latest instalment in a long-running drama involving Slave Labour. Yet it was removed shortly after by an unknown hand, much to the outrage of local residents, who felt the piece was a gift to the community and that any such removal was illegal.

The buyer later confirmed they were going through with the sale.

English's decision follows the recent sale of Banksy's iconic "Girl With A Balloon" artwork, which self-destructed immediately after selling for a cool £860,000 ($1.13 million) - or around £1.04m ($1.36m) if you add the buyer's premium onto that. The winning bidder has made a decision to keep the piece, no doubt in the expectation that its notoriety and unique nature will see it gain significantly in value over the coming years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER