A segment of a once expansive mural known as Crazy Horse, crafted by the acclaimed British street artist Banksy, has recently emerged to be offered at Julien’s Auctions. This piece, a spray-painted car door, hails from Banksy’s 2013 creative endeavor situated in the Lower East Side of New York City, and encapsulates the fusion of urban art with poignant socio-political critique—themes frequently explored by the artist.
The mural, originally located at the intersection of Ludlow and Stanton streets, was a prominent element of Banksy’s New York project. It featured two cars and portrayed a dramatic scene of horses charging towards a crowd of panic-stricken individuals. The visual impact of the scene was augmented by an auditory element—an accompanying phone number played audio excerpts from a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, which sadly resulted in the deaths of two journalists from Reuters. The helicopter, call-signed “Crazy Horse 18,” inspired the name of the piece.
The audio excerpts, made public by Wikileaks in 2010 under the title “Collateral Murder,” exposed the disturbing apathy of the soldiers involved in the attack. The disconcerting nature of the soldiers’ conversations, including a comment that dismissed the presence of children in the conflict zone, deepened the artwork’s resonance with stark reality.
The artwork was first unveiled on October 9, 2013, as part of Banksy’s widely publicized New York residency, Better Out Than In. The title of the residency itself is a homage to a saying linked to Paul Cezanne, a 19th-century Impressionist painter, who suggested that paintings created outdoors were superior to those made indoors.
The piece, currently up for auction, is not only a significant work by Banksy but also comes with a custom display stand and an authentic, paint-stained traffic cone from the original installation. With dimensions of 71 x 40.5 x 30 inches, the car door stands as a powerful symbol of Banksy’s commitment to intertwining artistic expression with a commentary on social issues.