Nobody’s Buying New York City Banksy Works

A Banksy mural in Red Hook that has since been removed and put up for sale.
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

Art dealers and incredibly fortunate New York City property owners are having a tough time offloading artworks created by Banksy during his one-month “residency” in the city last October. According to the New York Post, Manhattan-based Keszler Gallery took a pair of pieces—a painting of a heart-shaped balloon (above) that was removed from a wall in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and a painted car door from an installation on the Lower East Side—to Miami earlier this year, but failed to secure offers of $400,000–600,000 and $300,000, respectively, for which dealer Stephan Keszler was hoping.

“It gave the impression that Banksy’s market was weak, but people were just asking too much for them,” Casey Gleghorn, director of Joseph Gross Gallery—which shopped around a truck door tagged by Banksy (see “The Tacky, the Shiny, and the Banksy at SCOPE New York 2014“)—told the Post. “People were getting greedy.”


A Banksy painting in Art Now NY’s booth at SCOPE.
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

Meanwhile, a Brooklyn family who wound up with a Banksy mural of two geishas on the exterior of their building attempted to give it to the Brooklyn Museum—the institution would have had to cover the cost of removing the work—but after a visit from museum staff the deal fell through.

“They, I guess, decided it wasn’t worth it,” family member Cara Tabachnick told the Post. “We have a real sense of pride and excitement around the piece…Doesn’t mean we know what to do with it.”

Bucking the trend, the New Zealand woman who was fortunate enough to pick up a pair of $60 Banksy originals during the artist’s secret Central Park pop-up managed to flip them for an astronomical profit (see “£125,000 for Two $60 Works from Banksy’s New York Residency“).

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