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Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

The $12.2 million proffered at a Sotheby's auction for Banksy's "Devolved Parliament," which depicts members of the British House of Commons as chimpanzees, smashed the artist's previous auction record of $1.9 million.

Why it matters: Banksy is the most important and most popular name in the white-hot field of street art. It was a year ago that his "Girl with Balloon" self-destructed in a spectacular prank after a final gavel bid of $1.4 million.

My thought bubble: "Devolved Parliament" is not a particularly good work, but it’s very big, which matters a lot in the art market. What’s more, genuine Banksy paintings come on the market very rarely.

  • This one’s value lies not so much in its quality, but more in its status as a collector’s item.

The bottom line: Compared with the $14.7 million that was spent on a sophomoric painting by the American artist KAWS early this year, $12.2 million for the Banksy looks like a veritable bargain.

Go deeper: Snapchat wants to change the way we consume art

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.

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