A painting by Banksy, which appeared in University Hospital Southampton during the first wave of the Covid19 global pandemic will be offered at auction in Christie's 20th Century Art Evening Sale on Wednesday 23rd March.
The painting, Game Changer, which was installed as a thank you to staff, has a pre-sale estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000. Proceeds from the sale of the painting will go to the NHS. A reproduction will remain on view for future patients, visitors and staff at the hospital.
Game Changer appeared at a time when countries across the world applauded their frontline workers from their doorsteps during the first global lockdown, painting rainbows in support. Until now, the work has only been seen in person by frontline medical staff and those admitted to hospital for treatment: the auction marks Game Changer’s first appearance outside of the hospital.
Game Changer, which is hand-painted, shows a young boy playing with a selection of superhero dolls. In the painting, Batman and Spiderman lie discarded in a bin; instead, the child clutches a new idol. A masked nurse dressed in the international uniform of the Red Cross soars to the rescue, her cape fluttering and arm outstretched towards the sky. When first unveiled, the picture was accompanied by a note: ‘Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.’