Comes With Purchase: The Los Angeles Building With Banksy’s 'Swing Girl' Aims to Fetch $30 Million at Auction - Arts & Culture

This isn’t your typical real estate transaction,” Alfonso Campos, one of the building’s owners said. “We understand the intrinsic value that the Banksy adds to the building.”

For the premiere of his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop in 2010British street artist Banksy came to Los Angeles. During his visit, he left a surprise mural for his fans, the “Girl on a Swing” or “Swing Girl” painting in the city’s downtown fashion district. 

Since 2007, the building has been owned by Tarina Tarantino and Alfonso Campos, who purchased the property for $4 million. Now, the structure on 908-910 S. Broadway is up for bids. Due to the pandemic, Tarantino and Campos’ tenants were forced to pull out of leases.

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According to The New York Times, the couple filed for bankruptcy protection last year. As a result, the building will be on the auction block. “This isn’t your typical real estate transaction,” Campos told the publication. “We understand the intrinsic value that the Banksy adds to the building.”

So would it be possible to extract the piece from the building’s structure? Technically, yes. However, that would go against Banksy’s intent. Given the mural is 12 feet by 33 feet, Holly Dunlap, a former Sotheby’s specialist, estimates it to be worth at least $10 million. 

Banksy street art in Paris / Image from @banksy on Instagram.

True intention

Dunlap sharedhowever, that a “sawed-off” mural would be ignored by top auction houses, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. 

“We would never touch that because it’s not how the artist intended it to be sold,” Dunlap told the New York Times. “Whenever buildings have a Banksy on them, that Banksy is much more valuable on the building than it is as a piece of brick.”

Banksy street art in Coney Island, New York / Image from @banksy on Instagram.

But it has happened before. This year, a Banksy work titled “Crowbar Girl” was removed from a wall in the UK. It was sold for a reported $2.4 million. 

Tarantino and Campos are deciding to include “Swing Girl” with the building while aiming to fetch $30 million. The sale, which Hilco Real Estate represents, will close bids by October. 

Banner image from forem1010 on YouTube.

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