Banksy’s art is a lot of things: it’s edgy, it’s often illegal, it’s short-lived, pointed and, above all, it’s pure, unadulterated anti-consumerism.

His disdain for greed is palpable in almost everything the artist does: One of the few online sales he’s done was called “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.” A few years back he remote-shredded a painting of his just as it was sold at auction for $1.4 million. He even opened his own art store last October, just to foil would-be plagiarists, and used the funds he raised from it to pay for an illegal migrant rescue boat in Italy.

Banksy’s Lawyer wrote, of the fundraiser, “You may well be committing a criminal offense by purchasing [this art]."

Needless to say, the guy isn’t a fan of excess consumerism. He works hard to try and keep his art from being sold. And a lot of his work is a straight-up mockery of consumerism and consumer culture.

One such painting, cleverly titled Show Me The Monet is a reinterpretation of Monet’s Water Lillies (of an iconic Japanese footbridge in Giverny, France). However, in Banksy’s version, the water is full of shopping carts and traffic cones, half submerged in the otherwise beautiful oil painting. It’s a dingy and poignant condemnation of excess consumerism and its effect on the beautiful world around us.  

And, in a sick twist of irony that’s surely lost on these bastards, Sotheby’s is auctioning it off. They’re hoping it fetches at least $3 million… hopefully more like $6 million.  

"Show me the Monet" – Image courtesy of Lazinc. 

“Ever prescient as a voice of protest and social dissent, here Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favor of the wasteful excesses of consumerism,” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, said in a statement. “Recent years have seen a host of seminal Banksys come to auction, but this is one of his strongest, and most iconic, to appear yet.”

Spoken like someone who really, truly, honestly can’t understand the savage irony in front of them.

I pity the poor sonofabitch who actually drops that much money on this Monet rehash. No doubt, Banksy himself will be cackling maniacally when some rich shmuck drops $3-6 million on art made to mock consumer culture.

Realistically, though, this all just adds to the mystic and allure of this oil-paining — likely only increasing its value. Oh well. At the end of the day the irony of that is an artistic achievement in and of itself.