The Infamous 'SWAT Van' of Graffiti Artist Banksy is Up For Sale
Whether you consider him a petty criminal or an icon of the modern art world, there’s one fact that can’t be avoided—when British graffitist “Banksy” leaves his mark, people take notice. Over the past two decades, the mysterious Banksy has left his spray paint work on buildings, boats, trains, and all matters of opportune canvas, all over the world. This is one such canvas, an aged GMC step van, similar to one you might find police forces and SWAT teams using. In 2006, Banksy tagged the van, bringing to life this scene of a child pranking the police, a tongue-in-check reference to The Wizard of Oz, and in the process strongly reaffirming his anti-establishment message. Now, his work SWAT Van is up for auction at Bonhams’ Post-War and Contemporary Art sale later this week, and it’s expected to gavel for upwards of $400,000. RELATED: See More Photos of SWAT Van by Banksy
According to the auction house, SWAT Van played a major part in Banksy’s worldwide popularity and recognition. The van was first presented at Banksy’s 2006 breakout exhibition show Barely Legal, which was held in downtown Los Angeles and marked his first exhibition in North America. Despite little fanfare and forewarning, the event proved to be hugely popular and witnessed many of the Hollywood elite in attendance at its opening.
Immediately following the exhibition, Banksy sold the SWAT Van to its current owner, who has kept hold of it to this day. This week’s auction marks the first time the work has been offered for sale to the public, and like many of Banksy’s famous stencil works, it’s likely to be highly sought after.
Whether you agree or disagree with his message and tactics, most will agree that his work truly is impeccably well executed, and SWAT Van is no departure from that. Need to make it your own? The gavel drops on Wednesday, June 29th in London.
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