It will be a case of Sing when you’re Bidding at Sotheby’s as the auction house prepares to sell a trio of works by Banksy from Robbie Williams’ art collection.
The three works – Girl with Balloon, Vandalised Oils (Choppers) and Kissing Coppers – by the reclusive street artist are estimated to sell for around £10 million with bidders expected from around the world.
All three are versions of works first seen on the streets around the UK. The original image for Kissing Coppers first appeared on a Brighton pub wall in 2004 while the original mural of Girl with a Balloon made its debut under Waterloo Bridge in 2002 and Vandalised Oils (Choppers) was first seen as a sprayed mural in Whitecross Street Market in east London in 2002.
It is the first time Williams has sold anything from his own personal art collection and comes after he sold his seven bedroom Wiltshire home after dropping the asking price to £6.75 million.
The former Take That star, who enjoyed massive success as a solo artist with hits including Angels, said: “I remember seeing Girl with Balloon, Vandalised Oils (Choppers) and Kissing Coppers 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.”
Hugo Cobb, Head of ‘The Now’ Evening Auction at Sotheby’s London, said they had been discussing a sale with the star “for a while” before deciding to sell the three works.
He said: “We decided to go with three which I think is a really nice complementary group where each work is of a very different type and they complement each other really well.
“Banksy collecting wise used to be a very, very specialist category. For a very long time there used to be a small group of people, mostly British, who collected Banksy and in the last four or five years what we have seen is an explosion of interest in his work.
“He has become a totally global artist and he is also in a large number of the very top contemporary art collections in the world and he is starting to be considered alongside the other great names of contemporary art.
“If you’re into conceptual minimalism he is probably not the artist for you but what we have seen is he is an artist with really global appeal who appeals to people of all backgrounds, all ages, creeds and races.”