Banking on a Banksy? This amazingly alluring artist continues to see a rise in demand for his powerful, provocative and often politically charged artworks. At Vitruvian Arts we have requests coming into our Fine Art Brokerage from collectors seeking to find original Banksy works at particular price points. Savvy collectors know his work is hot right now and they are predicting a positive upwards trend in value and so here are 5 things you should know if you are looking to buy a Banksy:
1. The first question to ask is – how do you know you are buying an authentic Banksy? The elusive and anonymous graffiti artist sometimes does not claim his work. So always check to see if it has been declared an authentic Banksy by Banksy’s authorised handling service for authenticating works – Pest Control. Check also if there are authenticity certificates issued by Pest Control and check with Pest Control or a recognised expert to see if these are genuine. Fake certificates are in the market place, so always investigate the authenticity of the work and the veracity of the accompanying documentation.
2. Who is selling the artwork? Checking out the source of the work is always important. We recommend you only buy from a reputable seller. Buying through a website from someone who is not a known art dealer or art seller is highly risky without a great deal of investigation into the owner and how they acquired the work. Always do a detailed check on the provenance of the artwork to try to establish who the previous owners were as this may be very significant in detecting the authenticity of the work and also whether there could be any potential title disputes. We recommend that you hire an art specialist to do this work for you as this requires a specific skills set.
3. We also recommend you work with experts to check the condition of the work before you spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds on an original artwork. The condition of the artwork can be a significant factor if the work is spray painted on brick or concrete and has been lifted from a public or private site, you will always need to assess the structural integrity of the work. Can it deteriorate rapidly and what can you do to conserve the work? Consider also the potential ongoing costs of conservation and preservation if the work is to remain in a public space or is to be relocated somewhere else for example?
4. Always check the title or ownership position. Who owns the artwork and do they have the legal right to sell it? There have been legal cases where parties have laid competing claims to owning a Banksy work, particularly where the work has been painted on an external wall and there is potential argument about who owns the property or land the work is situated on. Seek specialist advice on this issue as you do not want to get embroiled in a disputed ownership claim.
5. Last but not least always check the value of the work. Prices can vary considerably for the works and will often depend on whether the artwork is an edition or an original. Ask how the price has been reached? How does it compare to auction prices or known gallery prices? Be prepared for the fact that original Banksy works are very hot ticket right now. There is a high demand by collectors and there is scarcity in the market and so prices can vary considerably, particularly as some sellers might want to push their luck on the pricing too. On a lighter note watch out for hidden surprises – make sure the work you are about to buy does not self-destruct….
We source, advise and help clients purchase Banksy works and artworks by other Blue Chip artists. If you would like to know more please contact us on for a free consultation at http://www.vitruvianartsconsultancy.com/contact-us or call us on + 44 (0) 203 290 1367.