The Chinese are coming
I know what you are thinking: just when the allegedly non profit driven urban artist couldn't get any slicker he tricks us once again. But before you decry Banksy's fall from guerrilla grace, does all selling have to be selling out? Or is not the real issue instead whether the art retains any integrity? If Banksy made images for money that would have disgusted him to make for free, that would be selling out. Anything else is just making a living off his art, isn't it?
And, anyway, Banksy is so 2006. Everyone but Will Hutton knows that China is the future. And if the Chinese art scene can be likened to a booming stock market, Zhang Xiaogang, age 48, is its Google. As such, Xiaogang will no doubt attract much attention at Sotheby's with two prints (including the Graduate pictured here) estimated at £1,500-£2,000. The astonishing fact is there is not a single museum in the West that has committed itself to buying Chinese art. It's just starting to happen. Guggenheim, the Tate Modern, MoMA, they're all looking. Watch this space.
Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale
Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
020 7293 5555
On View: February 2 and 4-6
Sale: February 7