Marking the first time Robbie Williams has ever sold anything from his personal art collection, the singer has put up three pieces by the anonymous street artist Banksy. The pieces, estimated to be worth millions of dollars, include ‘Girl With Balloon’, ‘Kissing Coppers’ and ‘Vandalised Oils (Choppers)’. The artworks are to be sold at the first edition of Sotheby’s The Now Evening Auction in London on March 2.
Commenting on the artworks, Robbie Williams said he still remembers seeing them for the first time. “I believe they are some of his best paintings and I love how closely linked they are to the street pieces. As a collector of Banksy's work, you become part of a broader cultural movement.”
The ‘Girl With Balloon’ piece first made headlines when it appeared under the Waterloo Bridge in 2002 and broke the news again in 2018 when it started self-destructing at the end of a Sotheby’s auction. The partially shredded artwork became known as ‘Love Is In The Bin’ and sold for over £18.5 million ($25.2 million), marking a record for the street artist.
Williams’ 2006 version of ‘Girl With Balloon’ is painted on a sheet of metal and is the first of its kind to go to auction and is expected to fetch between £2 million and £3 million.
The 2005 ‘Kissing Coppers’ piece from the singer’s collection, worth between £2.5-£3.5 million, is also one of the first such pieces to go up for auction, as the original mural, which appeared on the exterior of The Prince Albert pub in Brighton in 2004, was removed in 2014 after being repeatedly vandalized.
The third piece in the collection, ‘Vandalised Oils (Choppers)’, is from 2005 and is part of a series of works done by Banksy where he put graffiti on top of traditional oil paintings. The piece has an estimated value between £2.5 million and £3.5 million.
The three pieces will go on exhibition in Sotheby’s New York galleries from January 22 for six days, after which they will be sent to Hong Kong in early February and then for a final public viewing in London from February 22 until March 2.