Monday, 22 October, 2018

Stunt or statement? R20m Banksy artwork self destructs at auction

Here is how Banksy shredded a painting worth £1million Here is how Banksy shredded a painting worth £1million
Jeannette Daniel | 11 October, 2018, 23:32

Auction house Sotheby's said that they were "Banksy-ed" when a canvas of Girl With Balloon self-destructed the second it sold for £1.04 million on Friday night.

The stunt comes as the artist posted a video on his Instagram page that showed a shredder being fitted into the frame of the painting.

As if the rumour mill had not turned enough over the past week, Sotheby's now says Banksy did not destroy a work of art during its contemporary evening sale on 5 October-he created one.

The auction price of $1.4 million for the spray paint and acrylic on canvas Girl with Balloon tied the artist's previous record set in 2008.

The clip shows a hooded figure putting finishing touches on the shredder, before text appears on the screen saying: "In case it was ever put up for auction".

This is an ephemeral art form that street artists who come from the street art world understand: "'It's not gonna last.' Then, ironically, there becomes a demand for it".

Earlier on Saturday, Banksy had posted a picture of the stunt's aftermath with the caption: "Going, going, gone..."


Banksy - whose identity still has yet to be confirmed - often incorporates political messaging, anti-capitalist ideas, and art world satire into his work.

"I worked for him for 12 years".

"The shredding is now part of the integral art work". Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public.

The artwork was signed and dedicated and the vendor acquired it from the artist in 2006, the auction house said.

Social media users found Banksy's own heist method also to be "F**king brilliant!", posting support messages next to his Instagram video post.

Sotheby's representatives have already contacted the buyer, he was "surprised".

"Rauschenberg erased de Kooning's drawing; Gustav Metzger and Jean Tinguely pioneered auto-destructive art; Michael Landy shredded all his possessions; and what about Banksy himself and his corrupted oils?"

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