What's the value of street art? In the case of the famed and mysterious Banksy, it's worth enough to tear down a whole wall.
The man who keeps his true identity hidden makes art in the open for all to enjoy, but the dark humor, stark imagery, and social commentary he employs has made him one of the most recognizable and beloved street artists in the game.
It may not be entirely ethical, but his notoriety has seen his pieces torn down, not to hide the images, but to turn them into commodities. That's become the fate of Kissing Coppers, a well-known image of two police making out which originally graced the wall of a pub in Brighton, England, and just sold at auction for $575,000 in Miami.
Kissing Coppers was one of three Banksy works offered to bidders this weekend at LMNT. According to an ABC News report, the piece was expected to sell for anything between $500,000 and $700,000. The other two walls, Bandaged Heart and Crazy Horse Car Door, failed to meet their minimum bid and went unsold.
The prized collection piece weighs in at 7,000 lbs. and was sold to the actioner by the Prince Albert Pub where the work made its appearance in 2005. Kissing Coppers and the others weren't the first Banksy walls to come down and travel to Miami. Banksys have been on display the past two Art Basels, and while they originally caused quite a stir because of shady ethics surrounding the destructive trade of street art, it seems progress and money are winning out. We've even heard rumors that similar fates might soon befall works in Wynwood.
Whatever side of the wall you're on, this one is long gone, but those interested in placing bids for Bandaged Heart and Crazy Horse Car Door can still contact the Fine Art Auctions Miami within 30 days.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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