Banksy's 'Brace Yourself!' painting sells for three times its original estimate

Banksy's artwork "Brace Yourself!", which has been sold for three times its original estimate
Banksy's artwork "Brace Yourself!", which has been sold for three times its original estimate Copyright PA Media
By David Mouriquand
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Banksy's 'Brace Yourself!' painting sells for three times its original estimate... The painting has an interesting origin story - here's the lowdown

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Banksy's artwork "Brace Yourself!" has been sold for $2,032,000 (approx. €1,8 million) - three times its original estimate - during an auction called “Brace Yourself For Banksy: Modern and Contemporary Art", in Beverly Hills, US.

The anonymous artist created the work in 2010 for the British band then known as Exit Through The Gift Shop, who shared the same name he wanted to use for his future Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary.

To avoid copyright issues, the group agreed to Banksy’s offer to create a painting for them on the condition they changed their name. Brace Yourself!, who were given the painting by Banksy more than a decade ago, finally decided to sell the artwork because “people should be able to see it”.

The artwork, a large-scale painting of the grim reaper riding in a carnival bumper car, was sold to Miguel Garcia Larios, owner of Rcnstrct Studio in Hollywood.

Its original estimate was $600,000 - $800,000 (approx. €551,000 - €735,000) and the sale was preceded by a live performance by Brace Yourself!.

PA Media
The band Brace Yourself! with the artwork "Brace Yourself!"PA Media

Speaking earlier this month, the band looked back on the artwork's journey.

"We gigged pubs and clubs in London as 'Exit Through the Gift Shop.' And then one day an email comes into our YouTube account purporting to be from Banksy saying 'This is embarrassing, we've turned up at the same party wearing the same gift tag. I'm producing a film, it's going to be called 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'. If you change your name, I will paint you a backdrop,'" said Simon Duncan, drummer for the band.

Brace Yourself! singer Natalie Zalewska previously told the PA Media news agency that the sale was about preserving the artwork as a “piece of history”.

A portion of the proceeds will go to music charity MusiCares, providing health, financial and rehabilitation support to those in the sector.

The auction also featured over 70 artworks from Banksy and his peers. There was an original print of Banksy’s "Girl With Balloon", which sold for $195,000 (approx. €179,000), as well as artworks from famous names such as Bob Ross, Jim Carrey and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.

Additional sources • AP, PA Media

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