Banksy Transforms $50 Oil Painting into $310,000 Masterpiece

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World-renowned illusive street artist, Banksy, is finishing up his month long residence, “Better Out Than In,” in New York City with a bang. The artist purchased a classic landscape oil painting at the Housing Works thrift store on 23rd street for $50, then vandalized it and donated it back. The revamped piece features a Nazi soldier looking out into the calm scenery. The bidding for “The Banality of The Banality of Evil” has now surpassed $310,000.

Generally Banksy masterpieces grace the walls of buildings or vehicles, establishing their credit as much in presence as cleverness and artistry. But this piece stands out in its message. No matter how small the canvas, the message is equally as daunting as in the larger than life murals.

The Housing Works thrift shop began auctioning the piece immediately on Tuesday and bidding ends today. Proceeds from the auction and all Housing Works purchases go directly to homelessness and AIDS organizations.