One of Banksy’s paintings self-destructed just after it was auctioned
October 20, 2018
The painting sold for $1.4 million before it shredded itself.
On Friday, auction house Sotheby’s sold a painting by British graffiti artist Banksy for $1.4 million. The work, “Girl With Balloon,” a 2006 spray paint on canvas, was the last lot of Sotheby’s “Frieze Week” evening contemporary art sale. Moments after it was sold, the painting self-destructed, shredding itself while onlookers watched.
On Saturday afternoon Banksy posted a video on his Instagram account, recording the confusion at Sotheby’s auction, following a sequence purporting to show the artist hiding a shredder inside a gilt-wood picture frame.
He claimed that the preparations were carried out “a few years ago” and defended the stunt with a quote from Picasso: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
The auction house says the winning bidder decided to buy it anyway, and the work has been renamed "Love Is In the Bin."
Much has been made about whether the famously anonymous artist had intended to keep at least part of the canvas intact. That raised speculation that the stunt would only increase the painting's value.