Banksy Mural In Los Angeles Swings To Auction, Comes With The Building It Is On – Corporate B2B Sales & Digital Marketing Agency in Cardiff covering UK

Image via jvoves / Flickr (public domain)

It’s a BOGO deal—buy this Los Angeles property, and get a free Banksy mural that’s potentially worth more than the building it is on.

Dubbed Girl on a Swing, the artwork—measuring 12 feet by 33 feet and stenciled onto a former costume warehouse at 908-910 S. Broadway—was created by the elusive street artist in 2010 when he stopped by the city for the premiere of his documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Now, Tarina Tarantino and Alfonso Campos, the current owners of the historical structure, are putting it up for auction with Hilco Real Estate. The couple purchased the building in 2007 for US$4 million, and spent US$1.8 million on renovations and upgrades.

Unfortunately, as the pandemic’s disruptions had forced cash-strapped tenants to move out, Tarantino and Campos had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year.

According to the , court filings detail that the Art Deco building is worth US$16 million—and that’s excluding the value of the Banksy work.

Parking Girl Swing. (Street art by Banksy)

— Caio Ocampo (@caiocamol) August 31, 2015

depicts a parking sign with the letter ‘A’ supporting a swing. The ‘ing’ part of the word is partially whitewashed, seemingly alluding to the lack of parks available for children to play in.

In a former life, the seven-story real estate on which the mural is on was the place of operation for L.L. Burns’ Western Costume Company, which supplied many props for silent movies back in the early 1900s.

Supposedly, the next buyer will be able to take the mural apart and sell it separately from the building, which runs into conflict with the artist’s own values of making public art, well, for the public. With Banksy’s chagrin in mind, auctioneers frequently refuse to appraise or acquire paintings that were stripped off their original buildings. In their view, the worth of a Banksy artwork takes a serious hit if it were sawed off.

Buildings with a Banksy intact are usually “much more valuable” than if the artwork were set aside on “a piece of brick,” former Sotheby’s specialist Holly Dunlap tells the Times.

Jeff Azuse, senior vice president of Hilco Real Estate, echoes this sentiment. “You can’t look at it from just a straight real estate appraisal value. You can’t look at it from a straight art value,” Azuse explains to the publication. “It’s a combination of both.”

While it’s virtually impossible to evaluate the price of the building plus mural, the sellers hope to fetch about US$30 million for it.


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