English street artist Banksy is celebrated for his subversive works of art and public art installations that always garner a ton of attention. Over the past few decades, the elusive Banksy has had countless exhibitions and shows to showcase his work. In 2005, the artist created a painting called Show me the Monet as part of a series titled, “Crude Oils.” The series was displayed at Banksy’s second-ever gallery exhibition in West London. Visitors at 100 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill were not charged an admission fee to view the works but instead, had to sign a waiver and agree to share the event space with 164 rats. The painting is an adaptation of Claude Monet’s Water Lily Pond and features Banksy’s signature style, integrating turned shopping carts and bobbing orange traffic cones into the iconic painting. In September 2020, 15 years after Banksy created Show me the Monet, the painting returned to London and was placed on display at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries for two days before traveling to New York and Hong Kong.
“In one of his most important paintings, Banksy has taken Monet’s iconic depiction of the Japanese bridge in the Impressionist master’s famous garden at Giverny and transformed it into a modern-day fly-tipping spot. More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies and a fluorescent orange traffic cone. Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favor of the wasteful excesses of consumerism,” says Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European Head of Contemporary Art.
On October 21, Show me the Monet will be included in Sotheby’s third livestream auction event: Modernités / Contemporary. The painting is expected to sell for anywhere from £3 million to £5 million (roughly $4 to $6 million) at the livestream auction. “Recent years have seen seminal Banksys come to auction, but this is one of his strongest, and most iconic, to appear yet. From Love is in the Bin, to the record-breaking Devolved Parliament, to this take on Monet, October just wouldn’t be complete without a big Banksy moment,” Branczik says. Banksy’s Devolved Parliament sold at Sotheby’s London for £9.9 million ($12.2 million).