Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Banksy Painting Self Destructs Following Its $1.4 Million Sale

The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m Camera Icon The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m
Stacy Diaz | 11 October, 2018, 17:30

A stencil spray painting by secretive artist Banksy shredded itself after it was sold in Sotheby's auction house here for more than £1 million. In an Instagram post Saturday, Banksy claimed the dramatic artistic payoff had been years in the making.

Onlookers at Sotheby's in London were stunned when, just moments after selling for more than £1m, the Girl With Balloon painting shredded in front of them, coming out of the bottom of the frame in strips.

Banksy is known for having tight-lipped collaborators who work with him, and it is also possible he had people placed in the room to record the event. In 2013, he established a booth in a NY market where he sold his original works for $60 (N21,810). In 2005, he hung a canvas of a 19th century heroine wearing a gas mask on the wall of the Metropolitan Museum in NY.

A year later, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.

His new stunt, perhaps his most tangible critique of the art market yet, has instantly become the talk of the United Kingdom art world. It then said it had been given as a gift. Alternatively, was it the ultimate act of rebellion, Banksy pulling the rug out from under the buyer and reasserting his control over his work by destroying its value the moment it changed hands?

So why could it be worth more?

"They check everything", he said. "I think Banksy would find this all very amusing", she said.

It's unclear if Sotheby's was in on the artist's intent to destroy the work.

Originally the painting was estimated at about 250-400 thousand dollars, but during the auction it was sold for 1.4 million dollars.

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context ..."

The stunning and widely viewed moment was seen as a pointed criticism of the lucrative art world from the daring artist.

In the case of the "self-destructing Banksy", nothing adds up. "The king stays the king", Gastman said.

Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work.

"Is the work now 10 times as valuable?" English asked. "He's created this really unique situation for himself". Some art-market watchers say the work could be worth even more in its shredded state.