Photos via Lisa Osburn/Trover and Auto Blog
A Detroit mural painted by UK street artist Banksy sold at auction yesterday for $137.5K. The sale of the piece once situated in Detroit's abandoned Packard Plant ends a long, weird chapter in Detroit's art world and likely means that the mural depicting a young boy and the caption "I remember when all this was trees" will never return to the Motor City.
The mural's new owner, Steven Dunn, CEO of a Los Angeles baby toy company, paid far less than the pre-sale estimates of $200K - $400K. Though the price was a disappointment, the gallery turned a little "salvage" (or theft, depending on who you ask) and a token payment of $2500 to the plant's owner into a $135K payday. Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you have chainsaws, a pickup truck and a Packard Plant-sized sense of entitlement.
The owners of Detroit's 555 Gallery removed the mural from the long-vacant car plant claiming it was in danger from bulldozers clearing material at the site. Eventually, they paid the plant's owners $2500 for the piece, and had originally promised not to sell it. While 555 Gallery swears they'll use the cash for art programs and production space for local artists, Detroiters generally seem unconvinced of their good intentions. Matthew Naimi, who owns a local recycling center and the Lincoln Street Art Park and Sculpture Garden told the Detroit Free Press "They gained the public trust but then violated that by putting the Banksy up for sale."
·Banksy mural from Detroit sells for $137,500 [Detroit Free Press]
·Banksy Mural Could Sell For More Than Entire Packard Plant [Curbed Detroit]
·555 Gallery Puts Detroit Banksy Mural up for Auction [Curbed Detroit]