Last year, Banksy’s parody of a Monet painting, humorously titled Show Me The Monet, smashed estimates to sell for more than £7.5 million at auction. Created in 2005, the artwork added shopping trolleys and a discarded traffic cone to the Impressionist painter’s famed garden scene.
Now, another artwork “vandalised” by Banksy is set to hit the auction block. Titled Subject to Availability, the 2009 artwork features a defaced version of an 1890 oil painting by Albert Bierstadt, depicting Mount Rainier National Park.
Offering a climate-conscious take on the image, Banksy adds an asterisk with the note: “Subject to availability for a limited period only.”
“Banksy’s witty dialogue with the art historical canon brings the painting sharply into the current context of the global climate crisis,” says Katharine Arnold, co-head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, in an interview with Artnet News. “Ten years on from its creation,” she adds, “the idyllic park it depicts has already been closed to the public since February 2020 due to severe flooding and landslides.”
Subject to Availability is expected to bring in between £3 million and £5 million via Christie’s, though this was also the estimated value of the Monet piece before it was surpassed on the day. Just last month, the artist’s Game Changer — an artwork dedicated to NHS staff — exceeded estimates of £2.5 million to £3.5 million to sell for a staggering £14.4 million (or £16.7 million with fees).
Banksy’s Subject to Availability is on view as part of the “Off the Wall: Basquiat to Banksy” exhibition at Christie’s King Street galleries until May 7, alongside works by artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. View more here.