As Brexit looms on Halloween, a painted satire of Britain's House of Commons filled with arguing chimpanzees brought an auction record of £9,879,500 ($12,200,000) for street artist Banksy. At the Sotheby's sale in London on Thursday, "Devolved Parliament" jumped well beyond tne pre-sale estimate of £1,500,000 to £2,000,000 ($1,900,000 to $2,500,000) after a 13 minute bidding battle.
“Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight,” Banksy commented on Instagram. “Shame I didn’t still own it.”
The epic 13-foot canvas beat out Banksy's other top prices, including the $1,870,000 price for "Keep it Spotless," his uppate to a Damien Hirst spot painting, and "Girl With Balloon," which shredded as Sotheby's hammered it down last year. That work was renamed "Love is in the Bin" after bringing $1.4 million.
The parliamentary primates painting was on loan from an anonymous collection to Bristol Museum last March, where it was also shown a decade earlier for the exhibition Banksy vs. Bristol Museum. Bansky wrote online last spring, “I made this 10 years ago. Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day. Laugh now, but one day no one will be in charge.”
Also this week, Banksy posted online about his "Gross Domestic Product," a shop for his art and homewares in London's Croydon and possible retail sales online. His flyer reads, "This shop has come about as a result of legal action. A greeting cards company are trying to seize legal custody of the name Banksy from the artist, who has been advised the best way to prevent this is to sell his own range of branded merchandise."