Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sold! Detroit Banksy now belongs to CEO of baby toy company

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 8:56 AM

click to enlarge California businessman Steven S. Dunn and wife Laura, the winning bidders of the Detroit Banksy painting.
  • California businessman Steven S. Dunn and wife Laura, the winning bidders of the Detroit Banksy painting.
Updated 8:56 a.m., Oct. 1:

"I Remember When All This Was Trees" sold for $137,500, well below the auction house's estimate of $200,000 to $400,000, according to the Free Press. The buyer was Steven Dunn, CEO of Munchkin Inc. a Los Angeles company that makes baby toys.

The 555 Gallery walks away with $110,000, which they say will go toward transforming a 30,000-square-foot warehouse on Detroit's east side into a gallery and arts space.

Originally posted 12:58 p.m., Sept. 30:

Detroit's infamous "I Remember When All This Was Trees" painting — believed to be created by the mysterious street artist Banksy — is heading to a Los Angeles auction block today, the Free Press reports. 

The painting was created in Detroit's Packard Plant in 2010 while Banksy was promoting his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. (Side note: If you haven't seen it already, do yourself a favor and check it out posthaste.)

Other paintings attributed to Banksy also appeared in metro Detroit at that time, but were quickly buffed. (We imagine those building owners are kicking themselves right about now.) Detroit's 555 Gallery managed to remove the 8-foot Packard Plant wall to preserve the work, and for a time featured it on display in their gallery before announcing they would sell it in 2014.

According to the Free Press, Julien's Auctions expects the mural could fetch as much as $400,000, and there's already a $50,000 bid. The record a Banksy painting has ever fetched is $1.1 million, though a number of recent auctions of other works have failed to sell. 

Things are looking good for a Packard Banksy sale, though. Julien's auctioneer tells the Free Press the painting's "anti-industrial commentary lacks the political edge that can sometimes turn off some buyers" — meaning the painting should make a safe choice (ahem) to decorate the wall above somebody's fancy loft mantlepiece.

While we wait for the sale to go through, read up on the whole saga in our 2014 feature story, "Robbing the Banksy." 

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