Banksy’s painting self-destructs after selling for $1.1 million in auction

Calvin Saunders
October 7, 2018

An employee carries Banksy's "Girl and Balloon" at Bonhams auction house in London prior to an earlier sale in 2012. As everyone's attention was drawn to the painting in the large frame, it suddenly was drawn through the bottom of the Banksy-made frame and shredded.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, senior director and head of contemporary art, said in a statement on Sotheby's website. But for those who are still interested in debunking Banksy, or admiring them from afar, the popular street artist has done something new to push the conversation of his work forward. "We have not experienced a situation where a painting has spontaneously shredded, possibly at the request of the artist".

On Instagram, Banksy shared a photo of shocked attendees watching the print shred itself with the caption "Going, going, gone..."

Just as the gavel went down on the £1.04m sale of one of the artist's most famous works, it was shredded by a hidden mechanism inside the picture frame.

Branczik said he was "not in on the ruse", according to The Art Newspaper.

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

However, there was immediately speculation by art experts on social media who predicted that the value of the work would have been hugely increased by the prank.

The auction house says it's in discussions with the anonymous buyer (a private collector) about the next steps.

This is Banksy's deal: He doesn't like his works being monetized and has avoided charging people to view his works, many of which pop up in public places. The spray-painted and acrylic piece depicted a little girl extending her arm out for a heart-shaped balloon, floating far beyond reach.

Banksy originally became known from a series of notable pieces of graffiti throughout England but has never revealed his full identity.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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