Banksy is widely known for his iconic murals and street art, while the auctions are making millions selling his fine art prints and paintings. Apart from that, Banksy has mastered one more craft — sculpture. Though his pieces of sculpture are less known than his other artworks, they are still an invaluable part of the Banksy franchise. Let’s take a look at by far the most outstanding Banksy sculpture that is satirically titled The Drinker.
The Drinker — notorious Banksy sculpture that was “stolen”
The Drinker first appeared in a small square, just a step away from Shaftesbury Avenue in London. This fascinating sculpture was illegally installed by the artist or his agents in March 2004. The artwork is the direct allusion to Rodin’s famous work The Thinker, though this variant turned out to be more down-to-earth and yet no less philosophical.
As always, many artist’s fans and ordinary people visited Shaftesbury Avenue to take photos with the new Banksy sculpture. However, the whole excitement didn’t last long. This time, things didn’t go as expected. What happened is that one self-proclaimed “art terrorist” Andy Link claimed the statue to be his own and accused Banksy of stealing it from him. Back then, in 2004, such news caused quite a stir.
Andy Link, a leader of the art group Art Kieda, took the statue home and placed it in his garden until it was eventually taken away from him by the unknown. Last year, in November, Banksy sculpture appeared on the Sotheby’s auction list and was expected to fetch from $1M to $1.3M. Not surprisingly, Andy Link said that Sotheby’s was trying to sell the “stolen” artwork, but this time, his stunt didn’t work well. The Drinker had a certificate of authenticity that Pest Control, an official representative of Banksy, issued in 2008.
That’s how one of a few sculptures made by Banksy got “stolen,” retrieved, and put to sale again.