Steve Lazarides' Banksy collection comes to Bonhams auction

A collection of over 30 Banksy works from gallery owner Steve Lazarides is to auction on 28 January at Bonhams' London showrooms.

Sculptures from Banksy are rare, with the collaboration with Kelsey Brookes increasing this lot's appeal

Lazarides, like Banksy, grew up in Bristol, UK, and first met the elusive street artist after working on a photo shoot with him. Becoming friends, Lazarides began to sell Banksy's prints "out of the boot of my car in a pub car-park".

Lazarides explains: "In the early years I spent my days driving my clapped-out old Escort MK 2 delivering the little Banksy books to shops all over London, and stuffing handfuls of stickers into print tubes. Those early days were chaotic and fearless."

The collection contains 30 early prints from Banksy, including Flower Thrower (2003), Rude Copper (2002) and Christ with Shopping Bags (2004), each estimated at £8,000-12,000 ($12,119-18,179).

The prints are joined by Banksy's Watchtower sculptures, one of which is a collaboration with US artist Kelsey Brookes, who is also associated with Lazarides' London gallery. Each is valued at £12,000-18,000 ($18,179-27,269).

Bonhams describes Lazarides as "a pioneer of graffiti's transition from street to gallery, launching, among many other contributions, the website, Pictures on Walls, to promote the work."

"I still believe in the power of the print medium," he says, "and love the way it serves as a gateway for many people to access the world of art collecting. For many people, the only way of owning a piece of art by their favourite artists is via a print."

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