Banksy's Devolved Parliament painting, which depicts chimps in place of MPs at the UK's House of Commons will be auctioned soon.
The timing has worked out well. The painting will be publicly displayed for the first time later this month at the Sotheby’s auction house in London, less than a kilometre and a half from parliament, before being auctioned for £1.5 to 2 million (€1.69 to 2.256 million).
At nearly four metres, this is the largest known canvas painted by the anonymous street artist, according to Sotheby’s.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European Head of Contemporary Art called the anonymous artist a “modern-day Voltaire, confronting the burning issues of the day with caustic wit and biting satire, but with a lightness of touch and a visual irony that distils society’s most complicated political situations into just one, deceptively simple image that is readily shareable in our social media age.”
For Branczik, the painting could not illustrate the Brexit debate better.
“Regardless of where you sit in the Brexit debate, there’s no doubt that this work is more pertinent now than it has ever been, capturing unprecedented levels of political chaos and confirming Banksy as the satirical polemicist of our time.”
Banksy first unveiled Devolved Parliament a decade ago as part of his Banksy vs. Bristol Museum exhibition, which drew over 300,000 visitors to become one of the world’s top ten most-visited shows of 2019. The painting returned to Bristol for another showing to mark the date originally intended for Brexit, March 29 2019.
The artist took to Instagram at the time to explain: “I made this ten 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”.
The painting will be displayed from September 28 to October 3, a few weeks before the current exit date.
It will be auctioned in the same room where Banksy a year ago stunned the world when the Girl with Balloon painting auto-destructed right after being sold.
Sotheby's told Euronews they were sure there were no shredders in the painting this time.