• Market Crumbs

Banksy Sets Record As NHS Charities Benefit

Image via University Hospital Southampton

While NFTs have dominated the art world as of late, it was the sale of a more traditional piece of art by one of the generation's most popular artists that made the news yesterday.

Banksy's "Game Changer" sold for more than $23 million yesterday at Christie's 20th Century Art Evening Sale, marking a new world auction record for the artist. Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund health organizations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by Britain's National Health Service.

Game Changer was installed in University Hospital Southampton last May as a thank you from Banksy to staff for their work during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and was intended to be auctioned. A reproduction of the piece—which features a boy playing with a doll of a Red Cross nurse as Batman and Spiderman dolls lie on the floor, will be displayed in University Hospital Southampton.

"This incredible gift will be invaluable in helping us to focus on promoting and protecting the welfare of our staff as they heal and recover from the last year," University Hospital Southampton interim CEO David French said. "As a charitable gift it ensures our staff have a say in how money is spent to benefit them, our patients and our community and is a fantastic way to thank and reward them for the sacrifices they've made."

The previous record for a work by Banksy was set in 2019, when his depiction of British politicians as chimpanzees debating in the House of Commons titled "Devolved Parliament" sold for $12.2 million.

"Banksy is an extraordinary artist who is a constant barometer of nationwide sentiment," said Katharine Arnold, Christie's Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe. "With the perfect image of a little boy playing with his superhero doll; a nurse sporting the international Red Cross, he perfectly captured the essence of this moment in time."

With NFTs causing a frenzy as of late, it's a piece of artwork by Banksy stealing the news this week as it sells for a good cause.

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