Surely You’d Need To Be Trucking Mad To Spend £1.5-million On This Banksy Volvo?
Perennially anonymous artist Banksy has built a name for himself through evocative artwork generally expressed as graffiti on streets, buildings and bridges in numerous cities around the world. The works often contain political and social commentary and they have become so popular and sought-after that newly-discovered artwork is often painstakingly removed and resold for record numbers.
The Volvo FL6 truck you see here was one of his earliest pieces and one of the few that does not need a chisel and hammer to relocate. Completed in 2000, well before he shot to fame, the piece titled ‘Turbo Zone Truck (Laugh Now But One Day We’ll Be in Charge)” is a fascinating look into the artist’s enduring focus on anarchy and social change, a theme revisited many times in future works.
The history of the truck is rather interesting too, although slightly different from the other vehicles that will be coming to auction at Bonham’s Goodwood Revival sale. It was presented to Banksy at a party by the co-founder of Turbozone International Circus and he decided that it made the perfect blank canvas.
Two weeks later the Turbo Zone Truck was completed and spent the next few years serving as part of the Circus’ transport. The images on one side of the truck show flying monkeys and a man preparing to smash a computer placed on a metal cog, while the opposing side has soldiers running in front of a bull wearing a cannon—classical Banksy and a great example of his thought-provoking work.
Ralph Taylor, Bonhams’ global head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, said, “Banksy is arguably the most important artist to have emerged since the millennium and this, his largest commercial work, represents a new high watermark of quality for works of his to appear at auction. The composition bears all the hallmarks of this peerless agent provocateur. Bonhams is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue offering the best of his work at auction as we have done consistently for well over a decade.”
This is not the first Banksy vehicle offered up for sale: a SWAT van spray-painted by the artist for his early Barely Legal exhibition was auctioned off at the Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale in June 2016 for £218,500 ($300,000). But the Turbo Zone Truck is expected to fetch a rather more serious £1,000,000-1,500,000 ($1,300,000-2,000,000), accompanied by a Certificate of Authentication issued by Pest Control, Banksy’s studio. It will be interesting to see how it fares at the Bonhams auction, which takes place at Goodwood Revival on Saturday 14 September.
Images courtesy of Bonhams