Banksy building owners “hit the jackpot,” says art appraiser

November 02, 2013 02:00PM

The jury has remained out as to whether landlords whose buildings were tagged with a Banksy, during the graffiti artist’s month-long New York “residency,” were given a burden or a blessing. But one art expert is saying that these building owners “hit the jackpot.”

Over the last few weeks, a broken-heart mural was painted by Banksy on a Red Hook warehouse, as was the image of a man holding flowers on the exterior of the Hustler Club in Hell’s Kitchen and a pair of geisha girls on a Williamsburg apartment building. And while these building’s landlords have in some cases been forced to hire private security to keep back hoards of art fans, art appraiser Stephan Keszler, whose gallery specializes in Banksy pieces, says that the graffiti art would likely fetch $200,000 to $500,000 a piece on the market.

“It’s beautiful and the whole story behind it is so amazing,” Keszler told the New York Post, referring to the Williamsburg  piece. “Another graffiti artist sprayed over some of it — you could ask why people want to destroy it.”

However, the logistical problems involved in selling a piece of a wall may mean that the building owners never see a penny for their six-figure art work, Keszler added. After all, some of the pieces are estimated to weigh over 800 pounds. [NYP]Christopher Cameron