A new series of images by newspaper photographer Nick Stern has seen iconic Banksy artworks re-created using real life actors.
‘Much of art is a recreation or interpretation of real life, but this project works the other way round – I wanted real life to recreate art’, explained Stern. He chose to work with Banksy artworks because ‘Banksy’s work is pretty unique and inspiring, known the world over.’
Speaking of his process, Stern described how it ‘was a lot of work as I wanted to make sure every photo was an accurate representation, but the final results were worth it’: ‘For weeks leading up to each of the shoots I scoured Ebay to find props such as Jesus’s ring of thorns and the police helmets and even made some of them, like the RPG, myself.’ ‘I just hope Banksy likes what I have done’, said the modest photographer, whose ‘inner artist’ is just ‘busting to get out’.
And why would he not? Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Most recently the artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.
A recent auction auction of Urban Art was held at Bonhams saw Banksy artworks make nearly half a million pounds. It featured 17 art works by the internationally renowned graffiti artist, and it was the first time that some of the artwork has been up for auction, with many pieces fetching some serious pre-sale estimations.
Works such as ‘Leopard and Barcode’, which has which has never before been seen at auction, attracted a pre-sale estimate of £60,000 – £80,000, went under the hammer at the high end, selling for an impressive £75,650. But the real show stealer of the night was ‘Girl and Balloon’ – a work painted on the cardboard back of an Ikea piece of furniture. Estimated to go for between £15,000-£25,000, it exceeded all expectations, fetching an incredible £73,250 – that’s five times the estimate!
Alan Montgomery, Urban Art Specialist at Bonhams said that interest in Banksy’s work is still very high: ‘It seems that the public just can’t get enough of him, and his continued anonymity, even following last year’s Oscar Nomination, only adds to his enigma.’
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