Steve Lazarides, the former agent of the notorious Bristol street artist Banksy has auctioned off a collection his private collection of 30 Banksy prints and two sculptures. The auction was held as part of Founded 1793, the contemporary art auction at Bonhams New Bond Street which took place on 28 January 2015.
Bonhams London auctioned the collection of 30 prints, two sculptures, and a stencil on canvas belonging to Banksy’s first gallerist and agent. Thirty of the 33 artworks were sold, reaching a combined sales total of $691,113 or £459,074. Most lots achieved prices above their high estimates.
The top selling piece was the stencil on canvas ‘Precision Bombing’ (2000) which sold for £40,000 ($60,000), £10,000 which was above its high estimate. The screen print and spray paint on card ‘Rude Copper’ (2002) sold for £32,500 ($49,381), and the screen print on paper ‘Laugh Now’ (2004) sold for £20,000 ($30,388). But one of the works sold at the other end of the spectrum; the screen print on paper ‘Silver Flag’ (2006) sold for a mere £3,500 ($5,317).
But the auctions high results were due to the important provenance of the Lazarides collection. Lazarides has been widely credited not only for the success of Banksy, but also for spearheading the increase in the street art movement in recent years.
Banksy’s works continue to be very popular at auction. Like the famous street artist, Lazarides grew up in Bristol. While working on a photoshoot for Sleazenation, a monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine, Lazarides first met the street artist, and soon began by selling Banksy’s work – initially, ‘out of the boot of my car in a pub car-park;’ and although the artist continues to divide opinion among critics, his work remains very popular with collectors.