The BBC News reported on Thursday that a painting reworked by Banksy has already raised over $300,000 in an auction. All proceeds from the sale of the painting will go to Housing Works, an organization that provides support to homeless patients living with HIV/AIDS.
Infamous street artist Bansky bought the painting from a Housing Works thrift shop two months ago for $50. Banksy reworked the oil painting, adding a man in a Nazi uniform enjoying the lake and snowy mountains depicted in the painting. Banksy has titled the painting, “The Banality of the Banality of Evil” and had the painting anonymously returned to the thrift shop on Tuesday. Shortly after the thrift shop received the painting, they received a call from Banksy’s team, authenticating the work and saying that Banksy wanted the painting to be auctioned.
The auction for the painting is part of Banky’s month-long stint in New York City, where his artwork has been appearing on buildings in Coney Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. His project is called “Better Out Than In” and it has been garnering a great deal of excitement among admirers and casual fans of Banksy.
A spokeswoman for the Housing Works organization, Rebecca Edmondson, told The New York Post that the auction of Bansky’s painting is
One of the coolest things that has happened to us in a long time. It’s such a great gesture, what he did today is really special. He may be controversial, but there is not controversy in the fact that it goes to something good.”
The two-day auction will end Thursday night.