Banksy’s spoof of a Demi Moore photo, in which she was posing naked while pregnant, could be auctioned off for £3mln ($4.17mln), according to reports. The canvas, titled Original Concept for Barely Legal Poster (After Demi Moore), is going to auction for the first time ever.
The 7-ft-tall artwork depicts a heavily pregnant woman holding her belly just like Demi Moore did in her famous photo back in 1991. In the parody version, however, the woman is also smoking a cigarette and wearing an ape mask – a known symbol of Banksy’s self-representation.
The artist used the parody to advertise his debut US exhibition in 2006 called Barely Legal, which eventually attracted numerous celebrity visitors such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves. Ironically, Banksy was “poking fun at celebrity” with his image, says Emma Baker, Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist.
“It works on many levels, not just parody,” Baker adds. “You can almost see it as like a modern day fertility goddess, especially in a fine art context.”
The initial photo of Demi Moore was taken in 1991 by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The photoshoot had immediately sparked controversy, as it featured the then 28-year old actress posing naked when pregnant with her second child. The cover eventually became iconic in US culture and has inspired many artists ever since.