Banksy has produced thousands of prints. But understanding their true value and the different characteristics of each of them is difficult. Here is a short and brief guide that will help any Banksy enthusiasts to start its own collection.
1. How many Banksy prints have been produced?
It is merely impossible to give an exact number of how many prints Banksy produced throughout his 20-year career as a street artist.
For every Banksy’s artwork, there are about 600 to 750 prints, 150 of which are signed and dated.
Banksy started producing prints through Pictures on Walls (PoW), a collaborative project of street artists that decided to sell the prints of their works for affordable prices. The idea was to give everyone the opportunity to collect art, as the traditional art market was (and is) only available to the selected few who can afford it.
Banksy prints were sold in the shop for £10 to £50 but they soon increased drastically in value in the secondary market. Because of this problem, PoW decided to stop their operation in 2017 and Banksy is not, at the moment, releasing any prints for his new artworks.
2. What characteristics do I need to evaluate before buying a Banksy print?
Before buying a Banksy print, there are several things one should take into consideration:
1. Taste & Message. Obviously, the first thing you should be looking into is which artwork do you personally like visually and philosophically. Most of Banksy’s artworks are political and contain strong messages against capitalism, war, social injustice, politics and immigration.
2. Numbered and Signed? The second thing you should check about the print you are interested in is whether it is numbered and signed by Banksy. Usually, the lower the number of the print in the series, the higher the value. Also, there are way less signed prints than not signed, meaning that prints signed by Banksy are more valuable than the ones that are not. For some series, Artist proofs have been released too. Artist proofs are early print copies used by the artist to check the quality. There are just a few of them for each artwork and therefore their value is higher than traditional prints. These unique prints have “A/P” handwritten next to the number of the print.
3. The Market Value. With so many Banksy prints being sold at auction, it is fairly easy to get an approximate idea of the market value of a specific print you like. To see the past sale prices of the print you like, simply visit any major auction house website and look for past auction results.
4. The condition. Before buying a Banksy print make sure you check the condition as the value might decrease depending on the state of the print.
3. How do I know if it’s an original Banksy print?
When buying a Banksy print it is essential that you check if the print is original.
In 2008, Banksy established Pest Control. Pest Control is the only entity that certifies if Banksy prints are in fact original.
All original prints, created from 2002 onwards, should have the Pictures on Walls stamp on it and a certificate of authenticity released by Pest Control. However, not all prints produced before the creation of Pest Control were checked throughout the years. If you like a Banksy print that is not authenticated, you can fill this form in. Pest Control will tell you whether your print is original or not.
4. Where can I buy Banksy prints?
The market for Banksy prints is currently booming. In 2017-18, Banksy was the second most sold artist at auction, worldwide!
There are many different ways to acquire original Banksy prints:
1. Auction Houses. In the last couple of years, every major auction house held Banksy dedicated auctions, both online and offline. Auction houses often act as provenance guarantees and therefore it’s considered to be safer to buy artwork at auctions rather than through private art dealers.
2. Galleries. Even though there is not an official gallery representing Banksy, his artworks can be found in many galleries all around the world.
3. Online. Banksy prints can be found all over the internet. People are reselling prints on eBay and on Amazon. In case you find something you like from a seller that is not an art specialist, always double-check the certificates and provenance with Pest Control. There are also plenty of online print shops who sell Banksy prints. It’s important that you always conduct your due diligence in order to avoid fakes.
4. Feral Horses. If you are looking for an alternative way of collecting a Banksy print, you can visit our website and become a co-owner by buying some shares of the unique print “Soup Can”.