As clever as he is talented, Banksy has a history of making societal statements with his work. Subject to Availability is indeed no exception. Instead of wholly original work, it expands upon an 1890 painting of Mount Rainier by the German-American artist Albert Bierstadt. Building on Bierstadt’s push against the destruction caused by the industrial revolution, Banksy places an asterisk next to the mountain, with a caption stating “subject to availability for a limited period only.” Premiered in 2010 at his “Banksy versus Bristol Museum” installation, the work was sadly prophetic, as Mount Rainier park was closed indefinitely in early 2020 due to flooding and mudslides. The piece will be auctioned by Christie’s later this year for an unspecific price.


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