Banksy’s ‘Show Me the Monet’ becomes artist’s second most expensive artwork ever sold at auction

Louis Chilton
·1 min read
‘Show Me the Monet’ by Banksy (Getty Images for Sotheby's)
‘Show Me the Monet’ by Banksy (Getty Images for Sotheby's)

A parody of Claude Monet’s impressionist water lilies painting by popular street artist Banksy has been sold at auction for more than £7.5m.

The piece, entitled Show Me the Monet, was auctioned for significantly more than its estimated price of between £3.5m and £5m.

Show Me the Monet recreates one of Monet’s most famous paintings, adding an abandoned shopping trolley and traffic cones into a natural scene.

The auction took place in London at Sotheby’s on Wednesday (21 October), fetching a total of £7,551,600. Five collectors vied for the artwork, in a bidding war lasting around nine minutes.

Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art Alex Branczik said of the painting : “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.

‘Show Me the Monet’ on display at Sotheby’s, LondonGetty Images/Tolga Akmen
‘Show Me the Monet’ on display at Sotheby’s, LondonGetty Images/Tolga Akmen

“More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies 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.”

The piece is now the second-most expensive Banksy artwork ever sold at auction, behind Devolved Parliament, a painting which depicted government ministers as chimpanzees.

Devolved Parliament sold for a staggering £9.9m last year.

Show Me the Monet is part of a series by the enigmatic Banksy. Entitled Crude Oil, the series seeks to reimagine various canonical paintings, adding contemporarily satirical spins.