Banksy artwork shreds itself after selling for 1 mn pound at auction

Joann Johnston
October 10, 2018

"A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting", reads a caption, before a person wearing a hoodie installs the device.

The video later shows scenes from Sotheby's, where onlookers are left aghast as an alarm sounds and most of the image drops down through the frame and is left shredded.

However, it will perhaps now be worth even more now, going down in history as one of the art work's greatest ever pranks. After auction patrons were stunned to see it self-destruct, Banksy posted an Instagram video of the work being shredded along with a quote from Pablo Picasso: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge".

'I subsequently heard there had been reports of a skirmish between security staff and a man dressed in black and sunglasses exiting the building. Branczik told the Art Newspaper on Friday that he was "not in on the ruse".

The auction house added: "We had no prior knowledge of this event and were not in any way involved".

Art experts are saying that the "damaged" artwork could now be double in value. Sotheby's said in an e-mail statement Sunday that the successful buyer was "a private client, who was as surprised as we were, and with whom we're still in discussions".

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Others said the stunt had increased the value of the work, while there were also theories over whether the buyer would be expected to go through with the purchase. Now we discuss the next steps.

BANKSY'S identity is one of the biggest mysteries in Britain - so who is the mysterious street artists behind the latest Girl With Balloon stunt?

He rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

Banksy caused a minor stir in the art world earlier this week after sabotaging his own painting moments after it was sold at auction for $1.1 million. With some of the image hanging down in strips, the 2006 work of spray paint on canvas of a girl reaching for a red, heart-shaped balloon was swiftly carried off.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work.

He has also done other stunts to send a message such as artwork of a dove with sniper mark criticizing the Palestine-Iranian conflict and other art mocking Europe's response to the migrant crisis, privilege, and celebrity culture. In 2013, he established a booth in a NY market where he sold his original works for $60 (N21,810).

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