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Banksy Outsells Hirst

posted 7 Nov 2010, 07:53 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Nov 2010, 08:03 ]

The rise in Banksy's popularity has been demonstrated by his
ability to outsell Damien Hirst.

An original Banksy painting entitled Barcode Shark, which
depicts a shark in the shape of a barcode, fetched
£30,000 at an auction in Bloomsbury showcasing works of
contemporary art.

The auction raised £200,000 in total but only £260
was from the sale of a work by Damien Hirst as a doodle by
the art enfant terrible failed to reach its estimate of
between £600-800.

Hirst's doodle was the result of a meeting with three
drinkers in a Soho bar who confused him for Chelsea captain
Dennis Wise so he produced the sketch to prove he really was
the famed artist.

This is not the first time that a Banksy has been sold for a
large figure at auction as earlier this month the
Bristolian's 'Gangsta Rat', which he sprayed on the side of
Moorfields Eye hospital in London fetched £30,000.

The graffiti appeared outside the hospital's main entrance
in 2006 and was soon covered up in a bid to protect it from
vandals and theft, while the money raised from the auction
has gone to fund research into new treatments for eye

Despite the popularity of Banksy prints, it appears that not
everyone is aware of how lucrative works by the artist can be
as council officials in London have painted over an original
graffiti sketch.

Hackney Council removed a cartoon of the royal family waving
from a balcony from the side of a block of flats in Stoke
Newington without the knowledge of the property owner.

The Council had reportedly tried to contact the owner but
the Land Registry possessed the incorrect contact details so
workmen went ahead and painted over the artwork, which was
derived from the cover of a single by the band Blur.

Alan Laing, of Hackney Council, said: "Hackney Council does
not make a judgment call on whether graffiti is art or not,
our task is to keep Hackney's streets clean."

Banksy's urban art may not be popular with councils but his
debut film, the documentary 'Exit Through The Gift Shop' has
scooped a top prize at a prestigious film awards ceremony.

He said: "I do like to think that in this world of graffiti
art - which is essentially mindless, messy and stupid - we
finally gave it the kind of documentary it deserves."

The annual Grierson Trust awards, which took place at the
BFI Southbank, praised the film as "original and

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My Artbroker offers the opportunity to buy and sell work from
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