Banksy's Love is in the Air auctions for $249,000

Love is in the Air, a limited edition screen print by popular pseudonymous street-artist Banksy, auctioned for £163,250 ($248,776) at Bonhams on June 27.

Banksy Love is in the Air
Banksy’s Love is in the Air: among his most famous images

The sale price represents a 63.2% increase on the print's £100,000 top estimate.

Signed and dated "24/4/2006", the spray paint and oil on canvas has been inscribed "16/15" on the reverse, hinting at the artist's subversive style.

The work, which features a young man dressed for protest about to throw a bunch of flowers, is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Pest Control Office - a handling service acting on behalf of Banksy, whose true identity remains largely unknown.  

Alan Montgomery, a specialist in contemporary art at Bonhams, commented: "Prices for spray paint canvases by Banksy in our recent auctions demonstrate that his works are more popular than ever with high-profile art collectors, reflecting the continuing fascination with his art amongst the public as a whole."

Banksy's Slave Labour mural, which, somewhat controversially, was removed from a London street earlier this year, sold in June for more than £750,000 ($1.1m), according to Bloomberg.

Keith Haring auction
Keith Haring’s untitled household paint and marker pen on chipboard

The Banksy world record stands at $1.9m, achieved by his large-scale, Damien Hirst-inspired canvas Keep It Spotless in December 2008.

An untitled work by late American artist Keith Haring also put in a good performance at Bonhams, bringing £109,250 ($166,484) to the London sale.

Executed circa 1984, the square work features two of Haring's trademark jiving figures.

As the present sale evidences, street art remains a viable investment opportunity.

Ever considered exploring the market? Check out Paul Fraser Collectibles' guide to collecting limited edition prints.

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