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Banksy work sells at Miami auction for $575,000

Banksy Auction

NEW YORK (AP) - One of three works by the elusive British street artist Banksy offered Tuesday at a Miami auction sold for $575,000.

An anonymous buyer purchased "Kissing Coppers," spray-painted in 2005 on the Prince Albert Pub in Brighton, England, and removed from the side of the building to stand alone. The piece was expected to sell anywhere from $500,000 to $700,000.

The two other works - "Bandaged Heart" and "Crazy Horse Car Door" - went unsold because they didn't receive their minimum bids, said Ashley Jimenez, a spokeswoman for Fine Art Auctions Miami. Jimenez said interested buyers can still contact the auction house within 30 days.

New York City art dealer Stephan Keszler, the owner of all three Banksy works that went to auction, said he was happy with the selling price for "Kissing Coppers." And while the other two pieces didn't meet their reserve bids, he said he was encouraged by the offers they received.

"Kissing Coppers," a black-and-white stencil of two uniformed English "bobbies" (police officers) in a passionate clinch, reportedly was lifted and transferred to a canvas before the pub sold it to Keszler.

"Bandaged Heart," which was spray-painted on the side of a Brooklyn warehouse, was removed by a team of specialists shortly after it was completed during Banksy's self-proclaimed New York City residency in the fall, Keszler said.

Keszler, who owns Keszler Gallery in Manhattan and Southampton, said he paid to have the 8-foot-by-11-foot hole left behind sealed up. He declined to say how much he paid for the 1,500-pound chunk of art, saying only: "Less than I will sell it for."

"Bandaged Heart," an image of a heart-shaped balloon covered in Band-Aids, had a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. Soon after it went up, the work was immediately "tagged" (a la aerosol art-style) by another graffiti artist. It's believed Banksy then added the words "is a jealous little" afterward.

"Crazy Horse Car Door," also created during Banksy's New York residency, was estimated to bring $200,000 to $300,000. It is a rear door of a Manhattan car spray-painted with a scene depicting a struggling, Herculean figure surrounded by running horses.

In the last three years, Keszler said, he has sold 11 original works by the street artist, including "Banksy Slave Labor (Bunting Boy)," which sold for $1.1 million in London to a U.S. collector.

Asked if he worries about selling art by someone whose identity remains a mystery, Keszler quipped: "He knows who we are."

Banksy, who refuses to reveal his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England. During his monthlong stint in New York in October, he put pictures of his work on his website containing clues on their locations but nothing precise. That spawned a hunt by fans who tracked down the works, shared locations via social media, then swarmed to see them.

Keszler said he decided to get into selling street art "because no one else is doing it. It's a very good niche."

Join the discussion

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morob54 February 19 2014 at 9:35 AM

WOW just think growing up they gave BJ`s there fathers n mothers must be proud .

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1 reply
Curly morob54 February 19 2014 at 10:01 AM

Wow - I wonder if your parents would be proud if they knew you never learned how to use the word THERE properly. It's THEIR fathers and mothers .... Do you know how to use YOUR and YOU'RE or TO and TOO properly? I doubt it.

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1 reply
jamesbessell Curly February 19 2014 at 10:29 AM

but really'u get the point

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jamesbessell February 19 2014 at 10:23 AM

the painting is a piece of crap!!!

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1 reply
bobsadmassistco jamesbessell February 19 2014 at 11:56 AM

So is your English composition and your comment.

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marcsmpsn February 19 2014 at 9:43 AM

Proof of the insane world we live in...

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morob54 February 19 2014 at 9:37 AM

Glad nobody drew a pic of me and my love the german shepard down the street .

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Curly February 19 2014 at 9:35 AM

Wonderful! And to think I have an older sister who can probably draw and paint as well, if not better, than Banksy but she's "retired" collecting some form of disability.

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mark February 19 2014 at 7:53 AM

WOW SICK! and the people are told to embrace this as a wonderful piece of art, but a nude picture of a lady is offense ,
Our world is really jacked !

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Gina February 18 2014 at 11:38 PM

What a gross ass waste of money! You have to be some kind of super gay monger to waste that kind of money on some stupid art work when in REALITY you could have helped many people, animals, good charities.. ... nope, the idiot spends it on two gay cops kissing. UGH Not saying anything bad about anyone who's gay because it could be a man and woman cop and I'd still feel the same way.. It's a total waste to spend big bucks on things like that when there's people in the world DYING, STARVING, LOST, STOLEN AND ABUSED. Sheesh, find something worth while to spend your money on while you're here on this planet. Make a difference in the world!

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2 replies
nefsigh Gina February 19 2014 at 12:07 AM

Wait----Isn't the money that person spent his or her own? DO they have to spend it according to your sense of proper spending?

I am curious---DO you own an IPhone or Samsung smart phone? How about a tablet or Apple PC? If you do, I could say the same thing about your spending habits as you just did for the art buyer. After all, IPhones and their contracts are a ridiculous amount on money that could easily feed a number of people at a shelter every week and a flip phone for $19.00 would do as well as your IPhone.

Last, how do you know the folks who bought the art don't already make significant donations to those causes you mentioned?

Sounds to me you are more than just a bit jealous of this person's success.

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melhonda Gina February 19 2014 at 3:42 AM

and killing !!!! School cops, spouse killings have increased drastically

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Escalonz February 18 2014 at 11:57 PM

Super Puke!

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ded February 19 2014 at 12:24 AM

This is just garbage. Ditto on the nauseating disgust factor.

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1 reply
valjohnbarlow ded February 19 2014 at 5:38 AM

If You Consider Showing Love To Your Fellow Man to Be "garbage" ded, Then You ded are the really nauseating and disgusting Neanderthal Hetero Male, who are incapable of Loving Your Fellow Man, but Only Murdering and Enslaving Your Fellow Man and Engaging in Constant War and Rape and Pillage !!! For 300 Years You Disgusting Heteros Practiced Slavery in the Sick & Savage Southern States !!!

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2 replies
Rich valjohnbarlow February 19 2014 at 6:36 AM

First let me say that I have no problem with the art itself. BUT, you, valjohnbarlow, for being a "love your fellow man" seemingly are extremely full of hatred for the "straight" majority. I am in California, probably one of the most liberal states in the Union. But when Prop 8 was on the ballot for marriage equality, what killed it was the overly gay groups playing out every negative stereotype for the voters to view as what to expect from gay marriages. And they FAILED. Thankfully the courts have struck it down, but the lesson learned from this should have been that it isn't a wise decision to attack the ones that you really need to get hour message heard. Especially as HATEFUL as YOU are doing!

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valjohnbarlow valjohnbarlow February 19 2014 at 4:03 PM

Dear Rich, If You Heteros Are Going to Continue To Dish Out Hate and Homophobia As Is So Well Illustrated in this Comments Section, I Am Going to Dish It Right Back At You !!! As Regards Prop 8, I Have Gay Friends In California Who Said They Now Understood How The Jews Felt in 1930s Germany Because of the Massive Amount of Hate and Homophobia in Anti-Gay TV Advertisements, and on the Radio, and In Mailings, Etc ad nauseum

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Miss Sonja February 19 2014 at 2:00 AM

Puleeze send this person back to England! Or stop showing his tacky so-called art.

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