Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ Doubles in Value After Sotheby’s Shredder Stunt

11 October, 2018, 17:29 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Sotheby's confirme la vente de la toile auto-détruite de Banksy

Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

UK-based artist Banksy arranged one of his well-known painting Girl With Balloon to self-destruct by shredding itself soon after it was auctioned for $1.4 million. The spray-painted and acrylic piece depicted a little girl extending her arm out for a heart-shaped balloon, floating far beyond reach.

Earlier Saturday, Banksy had posted a photo of the shredded work with a caption, imitating an auctioneer, that read: "going, going, gone".

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director of contemporary art, said in the news release. It is still unclear how the shredder was activated, amidst speculation that Banksy was in the Sothebys auction as part of the crowd.

It's perhaps surprising that no alarm bells began ringing among the observers when the piece sold for the exact same sum as Banksy's previous auction record, set in 2008.

Julien's Auctions have said that the piece is perfectly safe as are other Banksy pieces open to bidding.

What do you make of Banksy's stunt?


He today posted a video online to show how he secretly installed the shredder in the frame of the painting some years back.

There is no denying that what he did will probably go down as one of the greatest art stunts ever.

The Girl with the Red Balloon is one of Banksy's most famous works, acclaimed as one his "most beautiful".

The auction house said it was "in discussion about next steps" with the buyer, whose identity was not disclosed.

"The big question is - was Sotheby's complicit", asks Anny Shaw, correspondent for the Art Newspaper, who was in the room for the sale.

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

Maybe It's both a subversive artist statement and a publicity stunt-and basically everyone, from the artist to the buyer to those who witnessed the shredding in real time to us watching it now, wins. Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public.

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