Banksy's '$150,000' Paparazzi Rat to star at Bonhams

Bonhams is set to take the art auction market by storm with its first US Urban Art auction on October 29, featuring Banksy's Paparazzi Rat as top lot.

Banksy Paparazzi Rat
The 2004 canvas is unique in this format and signed by Banksy on the stretcher

The auction will be held in Los Angeles, a choice inspired by the city's fast-growing urban art market.

Bonhams' head of urban art, Gareth Williams, commented: "Urban Art continues to be one of the most rapidly developing sectors of the art market and it is truly exciting to be bringing such important works to auction in Los Angeles.

"The city is fast becoming a hub for urban art, following Banksy's groundbreaking 'Barely Legal' show in 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition 'Art in the Streets', held last year, and the numerous sell-out gallery shows."

Two Banksy pieces, Gangsta Rat and Paparazzi Rat, will lead the sale, each holding an estimate of $100,000-150,000. 13 popular Banksy prints will follow, with estimates ranging from $5,000 to $150,000.  

The current record price for a Banksy work at auction is $1.9m, set when a London mural entitled Keep it Spotless sold at Sotheby's New York in 2008.

Also featuring will be a number of the street artists who starred in Banksy's 2010 film, Exit through the Gift Shop. Mr Brainwash, the French shop keeper around whom the film revolves, will be represented by a self portrait, which is expected to bring $5,000-8,000.

Space Invader mosaic auction
Instantly recognisable: Invader's mosaic has been appearing since the mid 1990s

Shepard Fairey, creator of the now iconic OBEY Giant image and Obama HOPE poster, will see a number of his works sold, with Panther Power headlining at $60,000-80,000. Also featuring is the instantly recognisable Invader, whose Space Invaders-inspired mosaic will sell for $6,000-8,000.

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