Auction News

The $200,000 car door courtesy of Banksy


Crazy Horses a fragment from a Banksy installation.

A car door could sell for $200,000 if it hits its estimate. The reason? A graffiti work by Banksy, the world-renowned street artist, who must have a good claim to being the most popular artist in the world today.

The car door was part of a larger installation called Crazy Horses created in 2013 in the Lower East Side of New York.

Like most of the (almost certainly) Bristol-born artist’s work, it is an explicitly political piece.

The images, created with an aerosol paint can and stencil, show horses charging towards a group of cowering victims.

A Banksy stencil, Police Van Chimp, carries an estimate of $100,000 to $200,000.

A phone number was painted on the mural. When viewers called it they heard clips from audio of a United States Airforce airstrike that became known as “Collateral Murder” after publication of a leaked video recording through Wikileaks.

The film showed a helicopter gunship shooting into a group of people, that included two journalists who were killed, in Baghdad in 2007. “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle,” a US serviceman says, as children are observed at the scene of the attack.

The installation at Ludlow Street and Stanton Street in New York was recorded by Banksy on his personal Instagram profile. It was a central plank of his residency, Better Out Than In, that appeared on October 9, 2013.

The piece for sale is a fragment of the complete work, measuring 71 by 40.5 by 30 inches. A traffic cone splattered with paint is also included in the sale.

The car door is being sold with an estimate of $100,000 to $200,000 and an opening bid of $25,000 is invited.

Banksy’s work is highly collectible and controversially so.

Most of his works are created at least semi secretly, and are still regarded as vandalism by some – some have been destroyed in-situ.

The artist usually acknowledges his pieces. But ownership is complicated and sometimes disputed. The “canvases” can be unwieldy, and include building walls and street furniture.

Where Banksy images can be moved and sold they command extremely high prices. For example, Game Changer, a painting he donated to a hospital in Southampton was sold for £16.8 million in 2021. Banksy works are often sold for or donated to charity, social or political causes.

Alongside Crazy Horses in this sale are several Banksy stencils, all listed with estimates approaching $100,000.

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