Recently, the anonymous street artist known as Banksy pulled off one of the most fascinating pranks in the art world: when one of his paintings was sold for almost $1.4 million at Sotheby’s auction in London the painting self-destructed. Yes, immediately after it was sold it began shredding itself. The spray-painted art piece was titled “Girl with a Balloon” from 2006. After the final bid an alarm went off and the attention was drawn to the painting. It was shredding itself. Banksy has since published a video showing how he built in the shredder into the bottom of the frame.
Apparently, the mechanism built into the frame was remote-controlled and shredded the painting with the touch of a button. The attendees were obviously amused, pulling out their phones and cameras to snap photos of the astounding event with smiles on their faces.
“Going, gone, gone” – Banksy
Sotheby’s says they’re discussing with the anonymous buyer of the painting how they’ll proceed. At the moment, the art world is trying to figure out whether or not the painting’s value has actually increased or decreased.
“We’ve been Banksy-ed,” Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art Alex Branczik says. “We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context. I’ll be quite honest, we have not experienced this situation in the past, where a painting is spontaneously shredded upon achieving a record for the artist”.
What do you think about all of this?