The artwork is being sold by fashion designer Sir Paul Smith
By Richard Blackledge & Tom Horton, PA
A bunch of withered, sad-looking blooms sits forlornly in a vase having shed its petals in a painting that’s the total opposite of Van Gogh’s famous still life of a bouquet of fulsome sunflowers.
But the work is a Banksy – and it has a price tag of up to £13.2 million, according to a valuation by auction house Christie’s.
The painting, titled Sunflowers From Petrol Station, is being sold by fashion designer Sir Paul Smith.
The 2005 artwork will be displayed in Los Angeles and Hong Kong ahead of its sale in New York next month.
Katharine Arnold, Christie’s head of post-war and contemporary art in Europe, said: “The work is an icon within Banksy’s oeuvre, capturing not only his facility as a painter but also the wry humour that he brings to bear upon global issues.
“Here, the sheer comedy of wilted flowers bought from a petrol station becomes a means of highlighting our relationship with art and the environment: both, he reminds us, are transient.”
Christie’s has valued the painting at between £8.8 million and £13.2 million.
Sir Paul said: “What initially attracted me to Banksy was his confidence and clarity to communicate something exactly as it is, I was so impressed by his observations of what was happening in the world and that remains true of the work he’s doing today.
“His political statements are completely on point, really profound, really brave and consistently delivered in a modern way.
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to be able to own a piece of his work and the Sunflower itself presents such a brilliantly unique way of thinking about things.”
The auction, on November 9, follows the record-breaking sale of Game Changer, another major oil on canvas by Banksy, in March.