A Banksy painting that was produced on the side of a festival worker’s trailer, during the 1998 Glastonbury Festival, has realised £445,792 ($676,668). at a Paris auction.This important early mural was painted in 1998 went under the hammer at Digard Auctions in Paris. Silent Majority is an exceptional artwork and marks the beginning of the Banksy iconic career. It was painted on the side of a semi-truck almost 10 meters long, in collaboration with Inkie, another leading Graffiti artist on the British scene. This is the first time that this monumental piece has been offered for sale. It came with an official certificate from Pest Control (artist’s authentication board) and will be presented to the buyer of the mural.
Nathan, the owner said he organised infrastructure at festivals and lived in the trailer for many years. Silent Majority depicts the heyday of rave parties and the hip-hop scene. For years, the current owners of the truck traveled the length and breadth of England. It was at a rave, that the owner allowed Banksy to paint the lorry, which was also used as a home at the time. The owners testimony reflects the extraordinary rarity of the work in a handwritten letter telling the story: “Silent Majority was performed at the 1998 Glastonbury Festival performance during a three-day graffiti. Banksy then asked if he could use one side of the truck as a large white canvas. The real goal of Silent Majority was to portray the rave party scene of that time. ” Nathan added, Banksy approached him in 1998 – before he rose to fame – to ask if he could use it as a canvas for a piece commissioned by the festival.
Nathan agreed, in return for some tickets and his expenses.
The current owners are long term travellers in England. It’s style is definitely Old Skool Graffiti, created free handed with very little use of stencils. It’s expected to reach in the region of £300,000 – £400,000. Marielle Digard of DIGARDAUCTION says “This is a piece from the very beginning of Banksy’s career. It’s scale and history makes it a true original.”
The work shows the figures, dressed like soldiers, storming a site with a speaker in an inflatable raft, with the words “It’s better not to rely too much on silent majorities.. for silence is a fragile thing…one loud noise and it’s gone.” The piece is signed by Banksy and Inkie.
Mary McCarthy, the UK’s leading street art specialist, adds “ We’ve seen some incredible works by Banksy on the market in the last few years. However, I think in terms of provenance and uniqueness, this one tops them all. For me what is quite special about this piece is it’s one of the few free hand pieces on the market. This one really is a rare piece.”
The Banksy was part of more than 150 “urban art” pieces auctioned yesterday which included work by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Pure Evil and Conor Harrington.