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Banksy’s Shredded Artwork Just Sold For The Highest Anyone Has Paid For A Banksy
By Alexa Heah, 15 Oct 2021
Image via Sotheby’s
Banksy’s famed Love Is In The Bin went under the hammer at Sotheby’s for US$25.4 million— the most ever for an artwork by the anonymous artist. The painting first came into the spotlight in 2018, when the original work, then titled Girl With Balloon, was sold to a bidder for US$1.4 million.
Both Sotheby’s auctioneers and its bidders were shocked when the painting self-destructed, with a cleverly-hidden shredder inside the frame. It turned out that Banksy had been behind the ploy, and although he had expected all of the picture to be destroyed, only the bottom half of the image was sliced. He then renamed the piece Love Is In The Bin, and it became even more sought-after than the original.
Sotheby’s had expected the semi-destroyed work to sell for between US$5.5 million and US$8.2 million in this next sale, but it far exceeded the prediction, going for nearly four times more. According to Artnet News, nine bidders from all over the globe wrestled among themselves for over 10 minutes, with a collector in Asia emerging successful.
It does seem that Banksy’s stock has been rising in recent years. All of the artist’s top three auction prices have been set this year, and so far in 2021, his work has already fetched over US$125.5 million in total — no small feat when this year’s market has seen the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sandro Botticelli, and Andy Warhol.
To prevent another prank by Banksy during the auction, The Wall Street Journal said Sotheby’s did its best to ensure the artist had no more tricks up his sleeve. It even went as far as to weigh the framed canvas to ensure there weren’t any hidden mechanisms, and that batteries were removed from the embedded shredder.
With Banksy’s ever-increasing popularity, we won’t be surprised if another of the street artist’s works breaks the new record in the near future.
[via Artnet News, cover image via Sotheby’s]
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