Banksy Renames Shredded ‘Girl With Balloon’ Artwork Yet Again
By Mikelle Leow, 24 Jan 2024
Love is in the Bin no more. Banksy’s Girl with Balloon, famously shredded during a live auction, has undergone yet another transformation. The artwork, which made headlines in 2018 for self-destructing at Sotheby’s London, has been retitled and redated.
Back in October 2018, the art world watched in astonishment as Girl with Balloon (2006) was partially ripped apart immediately after being sold, thanks to a shredding mechanism hidden within the painting’s frame.
Following this unexpected event, Banksy’s studio, Pest Control, promptly renamed the canvas Love is in the Bin.
The “damaged” artwork didn’t just make headlines; it also left a significant mark in the auction world. After its initial shredding, Love is in the Bin was sold for £1.04 million. When it returned under the hammer in October 2021, it fetched a staggering £16 million (£18.5 million with fees), setting a new record for the artist.
Recently, the piece has been given a new date of 2021—and, interestingly, a new title: Girl Without Balloon. The change was noted during the preparation for the Love in Paradise: Banksy and Keith Haring exhibition at the Paradise Art Space in Incheon, South Korea.
Photo 138668844 © Horst Lieber| Dreamstime.com
Nick Buckley Wood, the director of private sales at Sotheby’s in Asia, shed light on this change, telling the Art Newspaper that while the physical artwork remains the same, the title change signifies a shift in its status. He explained that the “destruction” of the work was symbolic, and the renaming reflects a new phase in the artwork’s life.
Speaking to the Korea Times (via the Art Newspaper) last year, Buckley Wood reasoned that when the old version was demolished, a new piece was symbolically born, dating its creation to 2021. It could, therefore, be deduced that the elusive street artist felt compelled to rechristen it “because the piece is a new painting,” he explained.
All this underscores Banksy’s ongoing interaction with his work. While the old Girl With Balloon is in the bin, its identity and meaning continue to find new life.
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