Banksy mural ‘Kissing Coppers’ and others don’t impress at auction

"Kissing Coppers" by the street artist Banksy was sold on Tuesday at a Miami auction of street art.
(Joe Raedle / AFP/Getty Images)

A mural depicting two lip-locked British bobbies created by the street artist Banksy sold at an auction in Miami on Tuesday for $575,000, which was at the low end of estimates. Two other Banksy works -- which the artist created during his monthlong “residency” in New York last year -- failed to meet sale expectations.

The Banksy works were being sold as part of a street-art auction by Fine Art Auctions Miami. The Tuesday sale featured works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bambi, Keith Haring and others.

Banksy’s “Kissing Coppers” was expected to bring in between $500,000 to $700,000. The mural was seen in 2005 in Brighton, England, where it was stenciled onto the side of the Prince Albert Pub.


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An anonymous buyer purchased the work for $480,000 plus $95,000 in fees, bringing the total to $575,000.

Two additional Banksy works -- “Bandaged Heart Balloon” and “Crazy Horse Car Door” -- were created during the street artist’s highly publicized stay last year in New York. The works were expected to fetch a minimum of $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

But both pieces failed to reach their minimum bid price and were not sold. “Bandaged” was created in Brooklyn; “Crazy” was first seen in Manhattan.

The auction on Tuesday featured about 50 works for sale. The auction record for Banksy is $1.9 million paid in 2008 for “Keep it Spotless” -- a defaced Damien Hirst spot painting.


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