The new Banksy artwork that appeared on a garage in the Welsh town of Port Talbot late last year – and has since been attacked by a “drunk halfwit” and wrecked the garage owner’s life – has now been sold for a six-figure sum.
Ian Lewis, the garage owner, is apparently relieved after selling Season’s Greetings, which depicts a child that seems to be tasting snowflakes (actually falling ash), to Essex-based Banksy aficionado John Brandler. As the piece brought more tourists to the area, arrangements had to be made for protective covering and security, as people tried to “chip bits off it”, and it was all understandably a bit much.
According to The Guardian, Lewis actually turned down higher offers in order to keep the piece in Port Talbot, which is appropriate, since it’s meant to be a commentary on the town’s harmful heavy industry. “I want it to stay in Port Talbot for a minimum of two to three years,” Brandler says, though it is likely to be moved to the town centre.
Brandler has also suggested the possibility of bringing other Banksy artworks (also naming Damien Hirst) into the town to inspire young artists, and he’s reportedly been in talks with a local homeless charity about opening a cafe near where the artwork would be situated.
As for Ian Lewis, he’ll be looking forward to a well-earned break (and a good night’s sleep). He says he might go on “a few holidays” with the money, adding: “I’ll rebuild the garage. I think that every graffiti artist in the area is going to come down and have a go at it now though, although I don’t think Banksy will be back again.”