Thursday, 24 September 2009

Banksy Vs Warhol

A screenprint of model Kate Moss by artist Banksy fetched three times its estimated price at an auction last night devoted solely to street art.

The work, a pastiche of Andy Warhol's iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe, sold for £96,000 at Bonhams in London.

The Bristol-based artist's Laugh Now, a stencil image of a monkey wearing a sandwich board which was expected to sell for £150,000-£200,000, went under the hammer at £228,000.

The auction signalled another step towards the mainstream for the genre, with 75 pieces of "urban art" in the catalogue.

Spray-paint and stencils featured largely in the works on sale, and many began life as street graffiti before being transferred to canvas.

Gareth Williams, an urban art specialist at Bonhams, said last night: "We are delighted at the results of this sale.

"The Urban Art sale is unique in terms of the unprecedented media coverage, the phenomenal level of interest from buyers before the sale and the way that it has captured the public imagination.

"The results achieved are consistently strong across the board not only for blue chip artists such as Banksy and Keith Haring but also for emerging names whose works have not previously sold at auction.

"This shows that there is a growing market place for works of this nature and we are delighted to have held this pioneering sale."

He said earlier: "By definition (urban art) is an ephemeral art form, often disappearing as fast as it appears.

"By transposing their images from street wall to canvas, urban artists are now creating a permanent legacy without compromising the vitality of their art form."

More than 500 people gathered at the New Bond Street saleroom to see works by artists including Haring, an American who rose to fame for chalking hundreds of images on the New York subway in the early 1980s, go under the hammer.

Nick Walker's Moona Lisa, which had an estimated price of £3,000 to £5,000, fetched £54,000 while another work by Banksy, Di-Faced Tenners, fetched £21,000, double its estimated price.

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a key figure in Pop Art, an art movement that emerged in America and elsewhere in the 1950s to become prominent over the next two decades.

The Fauves used non-representational color and representational form to convey different sensations. Apply the same idea to the portrait of Marilyn Monroe below, using the controls to adjust the colors. How does the color affect the mood?
Unlike the Fauve colors, the non-representational colors of Pop Art do not depict the artist’s inner sensation of the world. They refer to the popular culture, which also inspires Warhol to experiment with the technique of silkscreen printing, a popular technique used for mass production. In doing so, Warhol moves away from the elitist avant-garde tradition. Initially, many spectators received this new marriage between art and commodity culture with little enthusiasm.

Warhol was fascinated with morbid concepts. Sometimes, however, the results are astonishingly beautiful, such as the resonating, brilliantly colored images of Marilyn Monroe. The Marilyn canvases were early examples of Warhol’s use of silkscreen printing, a method the artist experimented with, recalling:

In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silk screening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it. When Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face the first Marilyns.

Using photo-stencils in screen-printing, Warhol uses photographic images for his screen prints. The screen is prepared using a photographic process, and then different color inks are printed using a rubber squeegee to press the paint onto the painting through the screen.

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