Banksy Prints Prove Popular With Celebrities
Work by graffiti artist Banksy has become so popular that celebrities regularly buy originals and prints.
In 2006 American pop singer and songwriter Christina Aguilera paid 25,000 for an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two Banksy prints after arranging a private viewing at a Soho gallery where the Bristol-born urban artist was exhibiting.
Gallery owner Steve Lazarides told the Independent that the pop star already had an in-depth knowledge of Banksy prints and originals and knew exactly what sort of artwork she wanted to buy.
A friend of Aguilera said the musician would prize the Queen Victoria picture featuring the monarch in a lesbian pose with a prostitute and hang it in her living room.
“She’s been a huge fan of Banksy for months and was desperate to get her hands on some of his artwork,” they told the paper.
Banksy reportedly created the controversial piece in response to the fact that Queen Victoria famously refused to pass a law outlawing lesbianism as she refused to believe such things existed.
Hollywood mega-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are amassing a growing collection of Banksy work having spent in excess of 1 million at a contemporary art auction in London in 2007.
Brangelina also controversially bought a Banksy painting of Michael Jackson which showed the King of Pop standing in the doorway of a cottage attempting to coax a young boy and girl into his house with sweets.
Brad Pitt told the Times at an exhibition in America that he becoming a fan of Banksy after discovering examples of his work through the media.
He said: “I think that this guy is really on to something. I first heard about him a year or so ago I saw something about him in a magazine.”
Keanu Reeves, Meg White and Jude Law are just some of the famous faces who have also been spotted viewing Banksy prints and originals at exhibitions in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Mr Lazarides said that Banksy prints and originals are popular with celebrities because they prefer contemporary art to classical masterpieces.
He told the Times: “They’ve got money and they don’t particularly want to spend it on a Picasso – they want to buy something that relates to their lives, their time and their culture.”
Banksy has famously painted subversive graffiti in places such as London Zoo, the British Museum and the wall dividing the West Bank in Israel.