From a Choice Banksy to a Poetic Peter Beard, Here Are 5 Highlights From artnet’s February Auctions
Whatever your taste, our team of specialists has you covered.
With the season’s online auctions heating up, the team of specialists at artnet Auctions have selected a range of exciting highlights from this month’s curated sales. See eminently the collectible objects below, all available now through artnet’s online auctions.
Ukiyo-e woodcut in colors on Japan paper
Growing up in rural Japan with little access to museums and galleries, Yoshitomo Nara took inspiration from Western album covers, a guiding influence that shaped his approach to art throughout his career.
This particular print rarely comes on the auction market due to its low edition of only 25. Featuring all the hallmarks of Nara’s inimitable style, it depicts childlike figure looking about anxiously while a puppy rides a cloud overhead barking “Bow Wow Wow”—which happens to be the name of an English New Wave band from the 1980s, recalling the artist’s formative artistic years.
The world-renowned Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has frequently reinterpreted traditional Chinese ceramics, and here he reimagines a plate using white marble, a material closely associated with Western art history but which is now often milled by Chinese craftsmen. By rendering the plate in its unusual folded shape, Ai removes its functionality to repurpose it as a decorative object that recalls Duchamp’s “readymades.” Marble Plate comes in a limited edition of approximately 20, and this is the first example to come up at auction.
Gelatin silver print with paint and ink in artist’s wood frame
One of Peter Beard’s most iconic images, this photograph depicts model Maureen Gallagher feeding a giraffe in the nude, her graceful pose mirroring the animal’s elegantly extended neck. The improvised snap was taken by Beard on a disposable camera outside his home in Kenya at 2 a.m. and serendipitously became one of the photographer’s most recognizable photographs.
Screen-print in colors on wove paper
An example of Banksy’s sharply satirical political commentary, CND Soldiers is based on an image that the artist threw up on a public wall near the British parliament, and which was later confiscated by authorities. Here, Banksy not only addresses the intersection of art and conflict but also raises questions of the reality of free speech, especially when a country is at war.
Acrylic on canvas
RETNA gained international recognition for his one-of-a-kind aesthetic that combines typographic imagery with intricate line work, complex layering, and a powerful range of color. Inspired by Arabic script, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Hebrew characters, and other stylistic written languages, this untitled piece from 2015 is an extraordinary painting that exemplifies the energy of RETNA’s brush.
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