A Banksy triptych of a Mediterranean shipwreck has sold at a recent Sotheby’s auction for $2.9 million. The artist will be donating the proceeds from the sale to a hospital in Bethlehem.
The three paintings, referred to as Mediterranean Sea View 2017, show orange life vests washed up on the shore, a reference to the global migrant crisis.
“This work juxtaposes an historic fine art genre with grim contemporaneity,” Sotheby’s said in the sale listing. “Though posing as eighteenth or nineteenth-century paintings of the ‘Natural Sublime’, the present work undermines and subverts the viewer’s expectations to broach a difficult contemporary issue.”
Banksy’s donation from the Sotheby’s sale will specifically go towards a new stroke unit and children’s rehabilitation equipment at the Bethlehem hospital.
“We’re often led to believe migration is a drain on the country’s resources, but Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant,” he said of the artwork. “Apple is the world’s most profitable company… and it only exists because they allowed in a young man from Homs.”
The Banksy triptych originally hung in the lobby of the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. For more on the piece, visit Sotheby’s.