Anarchy is for sale.
Banksy has become an enduring figure in the art world. His real name isn't known despite his long career as a subversive street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director, although there's a couple of educated guesses out there. Now, comically, a truck the British artist painted with an overarching theme of anarchy is going up for sale via the oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques at the Goodwood Revival in the UK, which is held at a 12,000-acre country house and estate owned by the Duke of Richmond. The irony being presented here is both beautiful and about as subtle as a brick through a window.
Among the shiny and immaculately restored classic cars with old and storied badges for sale, will be this 17-ton Volvo FL6 box truck adorned with images of soldiers running away from a cannon, a man about to smash a TV screen with a hammer, and flying monkeys.
The art-truck came about when Banksy was at an open-air party in Spain in 2000 while he was still an underground artist in the grand scheme of the art world. He started work on the truck at the party then carried on for the next couple of weeks. It had been presented to him by the co-founder of Turbozone International Circus and then used as the company's transport around Europe and South America.
The piece is called Turbo Zone Truck (Laugh Now But One Day We'll Be In Charge). Ralph Taylor, Bonhams' head of postwar and contemporary art said, seemingly without irony, that: "The composition bears all the hallmarks of this peerless agent provocateur." He goes on to point out: "There are references to art history and to social history. Banksy is always at his best when there is that kind of vicious black humour."
The auction will take place next month at the Goodwood Revival and the Volvo truck, that would be worth maybe a couple of thousand dollars without the paint, is expected to fetch up to $2 million.