Banksy Artwork Self-Destructs Seconds After Being Auctioned Off For $1.4 Million
By Yoon Sann Wong, 06 Oct 2018
Image via banksy
It looks like major art dealer Sotheby’s “just got Banksy-ed” in a brilliant art prank by the renowned anonymous street artist.
At its sale on Friday evening, one of Banksy’s iconic Girl with Balloon paintings self-destructed moments after being auctioned off for £1,042,000 (US$1.4 million).
The canvas passed through a shredder concealed within its frame, mere seconds after the hammer went down.
On Instagram, Banksy posted a photo of the incident with the caption, “Going, going, gone…”
Sotheby’s senior director Alex Branczik told The Art Newspaper, “It appears we’ve just got Banksy’ed.” He added that “the greatest British street artist” had given everyone “a little piece of Banksy genius” that night.
Branczik maintains that he was not in on the ruse, though it is unclear whether any other members of the staff were. Apparently a man dressed in black with sunglasses and a hat was seen wrestling with security guards at the entrance not long after the incident. This has led some to suspect that Banksy himself was at the venue, where he remotely initiated the painting’s shredding.
The artwork’s ruin could, however, be a good thing. Branczik added that one might argue the painting has now become even more valuable. “It’s certainly the first piece to be spontaneously shredded as an auction ends.”
Immediately after the gavel drops and this Banksy is sold for ~$1 million, a remotely activated shredder concealed inside the frame reduces the artwork into to ribbons. Absolutely brilliant. https://t.co/lpRcSzoISi— Evan Booth @ derby 🏇 (@evanbooth) October 6, 2018
“However, there was speculation after the Banksy sale as to whether the shredded painting would have risen in value, given its status as the subject of one of the greatest pranks to have been played on the art market.” https://t.co/4dR5P67zVt pic.twitter.com/3YBcBBeLl7— eric gundersen (@ericg) October 6, 2018
[via BBC, The Art Newspaper and Twitter Moments, main image via banksy]
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