The elusive street artist Banksy has been smashing all kinds of records lately. His highest price at auction rose considerably in October with the sale of his 2009 painting Devolved Parliament (2009) for £9.88 million (about $12.2 million) at Sotheby’s in London. And now—at a slightly lesser scale—the online music database and marketplace Discogs has revealed that a limited-edition record cover created by Banksy sold for $10,256, the highest price ever paid on the favored site for music aficionados around the world.
The rare record is one of 100 that Banksy spray-painted by hand for the Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp in 2002. The sleeve (for the group’s album Melody A.M.) bears the duo’s name in bold green lettering, with abstract designs evocative of trees below. Other copies of the record had previously sold for $7,051 and $8,178. (In second place on Discogs’s most-expensive records list is a 7-inch single of the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” from 1962, which went for $9,220.)
Banksy, a polarizing figure in the global art world, is known for making headlines with his irreverent works and mysterious persona. Devolved Parliament, the record-setting auction hit, depicts members of British parliament as monkeys, and another recent auction sensation of his, Girl with Balloon (2006), shredded itself at Sotheby’s in London last year.
Last month, the artist opened an online shop offering “art, homewares and disappointment,” as he put it in a statement on Instagram. To purchase Banksy-approved mugs, cushions, and T-shirts, aspiring buyers have to answer one question: “Why does art matter?”