Banksy Painting Self Destructs Following Its $1.4 Million Sale

Eloise Marshall
October 12, 2018

"Girl With Balloon", one of Banksy's most famous works, was sold at Sotheby's for $1.93 million.

The sale price equalled the artist's previous auction record of about $1.35 million.

Professor Young also suspects that Sotheby's and potentially both the buyer and seller were in on the joke.

However it was years before that rumours about Del Naja began to swirl when Banksy works popped up in cities where Massive Attack were touring at the same time.

But just seconds after the hammer came down, the painting itself whirred into life, and fed through a shredder which had been secretly installed inside the gold frame. Ian Syer, co-founder of MyArtBroker said: "Banksy is unique to the art world".

In 2013 he even set up a pop-up stand in New York's Central Park, where original canvases of his work were sold to customers for $60 a piece, far below the large sums his work usually demands.

The Art Newspaper's correspondent Anny Shaw, who was in the auction room, said that while the shredding may have been an "inside job" it certainly looked like a surprise.

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"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", said Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, and the auction house later stated "the unexpected incident became instant art world history".

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context", Branczik told the outlet. The auction house was selling the painting, the 2006 stencilled spray-painting "Girl With Balloon".

In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-toting ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum, where it remained for several days before being discovered.

There's also the reluctance of Banksy having their work auctioned off that has fans raising an eyebrow.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work.

"What he did is really shocking, in a good way", Koukjian said.

The iconic Banksy painting that self-destructed at auction last week has been authenticated by Pest Control, the elusive street artist's authentication body.

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