Saturday 18 November 2017

Banksy painting with Nazi theme sells for $600,000 at charity auction

A painting by British graffiti artist Banksy is seen at the Housing Works thrift shop in New York
A painting by British graffiti artist Banksy is seen at the Housing Works thrift shop in New York

Banksy has reworked a Nazi figure into an oil painting he bought from a charity shop in New York.

Banksy bought the painting from a Housing Works charity shop in New York, before reworking it with a Nazi figure and donating it back to the charity.

The Bristol-based artist painted the work, which he titled "The banality of the banality of evil," as part of his month-long “artist’s residency” in New York in October.

The painting was auctioned yesterday on behalf of the Housing Works charity, which helps to fund Aids and homelessness projects.

After 138 bids, the painting sold for $615,000 (£383,400) last night, but the charity said the online bid would still need to be verified.

The painting was donated anonymously to the charity shop earlier this week, and could be seen hanging in the window of the shop on New York’s East 23rd Street.

Shortly after the painting was handed into the charity shop, staff received a call from one of the artist’s team explaining the work was an original Banksy.

Writing on his website about the donated painting, Banksy only said: “A thrift store painting vandalised then re-donated to the thrift store.”

Works by the artist have popped up around New York City in October, including a statue of Ronald McDonald and a tribute to the twin towers.

For his last piece of work, the artist spray-painted his name “Banksy” in bubble writing onto a building in the middle of the Long Island Expressway in Queens yesterday.

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