It's been nearly one month since Banksy departed our fair city, leaving us with a wide selection of public art that has since been defaced, removed, covered up, confiscated by the NYPD, and sold at auction. Because humans are sometimes terrible and greedy.
The man set to profit the most at this point is New York gallery owner Stephan Keszler, who will sell the broken hearted balloon and WikiLeaks installation at the Art Miami Fair next month. When the latter was removed from its Lower East Side spot, one of the men removing it said it was being taken on behalf of the artist. Lies!
Keszler, who stands to make nearly $1 million, told the NY Post, "It’s Banksy mania!" But he's being criticized by others who believe he should have left the public art where it was. His defense? "He acquired the pieces from the building and car owners, adding that he receives calls every day from New Yorkers asking him to buy the Banksy that appeared on their property." Also, in the end he believes he's protecting the art from damage, he said while rolling around his pile of gold coins.
We've reached out to Banksy's publicist for comment on the auctions, and will update if we hear back.