A Banksy screenprint - which includes a rare personal dedication from the artist - is set to go to auction in Glasgow, with experts at McTear’s estimating the piece could fetch between £40,000 and £60,000.
‘AGILE’, a hand-finished, seven colour screenprint on cardboard, will be familiar to Banksy collectors and enthusiasts; 50 limited edition prints were sold via the Legacy of War Foundation website in 2022 as part of a fundraising campaign to support civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine. A staggering 1.3 million applications were submitted for the coveted pieces.
Importantly, the signed ‘AGILE’ screenprint going to auction on 14 December was not part of the initial limited edition of 50; instead, it was produced specially as a gift to the current vendor, complete with the personal dedication, ‘Thanks Chris’ followed by a peace symbol.
The lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Pest Control, Banksy's verification platform.
The artwork itself showcases Banksy's trademark creativity and ingenuity. Featuring a rat climbing up a freight box marked 'FRAGILE,' the rodent’s claws have scratched out the 'F' and 'R,' leaving behind the word 'AGILE’ – a nod to the resilience of the Ukrainian people. In true Banksy style, it is believed that the distinctive scratch marks were made using a pizza cutter, with each print featuring a different scratch pattern. The serial number on the freight box is a reference to the completion date of the artwork.
Commenting on the auction McTear’s Director, Magda Ketterer, said: "This is an important and evocative work that showcases the artist’s unique style, with his trademark ‘rat’ image at the heart of the piece. We rarely see Banksy works of this quality come to auction in Scotland, and it is wonderful that it will go under the hammer in Glasgow, a city that is close to the artist’s heart.
“The personal dedication and the fact that this piece was produced separately from the original edition of 50, lift this artwork to a different level. We anticipate significant interest from art enthusiasts across the UK and overseas, and we are looking forward to a lively sale in December.”
‘AGILE’ will feature in McTear’s The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction on Thursday 14 December.