Banksy's parody of Claude Monet’s impressionist water lilies painting has sold at auction for more than £7.5m ($9.8 million) – the second-highest price ever paid for a work by the British street artist.
The work, titled Show Me the Monet, sold to an unidentified bidder at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday evening, significantly more than its upper pre-sale estimate of £5 million ($6.5 million).
Show Me the Monet recreates one of Monet's most famous paintings of water lilies in his garden at Giverny. Banksy's 2005 iteration adds abandoned shopping carts and an orange traffic cone to the iconic still life.
Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art Alex Branczik said of the painting : “In one of his most important paintings, Banksy has taken Monet’s iconic depiction of the Japanese bridge in the Impressionist master’s famous garden at Giverny and transformed it into a modern-day fly-tipping spot.
“More canal than idyllic lily pond, Banksy litters Monet’s composition with discarded shopping trollies and a fluorescent orange traffic cone. Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favour of the wasteful excesses of consumerism.”
Show Me the Monet is now Banksy's second most valuable work, following Devolved Parliament, which sold for a staggering $12.1 million last year.