Banksy reimagining of Monet's water lilies could fetch up to £5m at auction
Banksy’s reimagining of Claude Monet’s impressionist water lilies will go on sale at Sotheby’s London gallery for an estimated £3 to £5 million.
The painting, called Show Me The Monet, was created in 2005 and adds abandoned shopping trolleys and a traffic cone to the garden scene.
The oil-on-canvas work has gone on display in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries for a two-day preview before it is unveiled in New York and Hong Kong later this month.
It will then return to London where it will go under the hammer during a live-streamed auction on October 21.
Show Me The Monet was first shown 15 years ago and forms part of a series titled Crude Oil, which “remixes” canonical works.
The series also includes Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers wilting or dead in their vase, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks confronted by an angry man in Union Jack boxer shorts, and Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe re-faced with Kate Moss.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said: “In one of his most important paintings, Banksy has taken Monet’s iconic depiction of the Japanese bridge in the impressionist master’s famous garden at Giverny and transformed it into a modern-day fly-tipping spot.
“More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trolleys and a fluorescent orange traffic cone.
“Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favour of the wasteful excesses of consumerism.
“Recent years have seen seminal Banksys come to auction, but this is one of his strongest, and most iconic, to appear yet.
“From Love Is In The Bin, to the record-breaking Devolved Parliament, to this take on Monet, October just wouldn’t be complete without a big Banksy moment.”
Helena Newman, worldwide head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art department and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Long considered the apogee of impressionism, Claude Monet’s instantly recognisable portrayal of the Japanese bridge at Giverny was a scene the artist returned to in the last three decades of his life.
“Residing in the world’s most esteemed collections, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York and London’s National Gallery, only one or two of these fabled works are left in private hands.
“They are, for many collectors, the holy grail – the sort of work a serious collector will live in hope of acquiring.
“And here we see Banksy take ownership of that, by putting a tongue-in-cheek mark on what has been held up by generations as an icon of Western art history.”
Last year, Devolved Parliament, a Banksy artwork depicting MPs in the House of Commons as chimpanzees, sold for almost £9.9 million in a record for the street artist.