Banksy explains auction house wasn't aware of art-shredding stunt

Angelo Anderson
October 21, 2018

It shows the secretive artist installing a shredder in the ornate frame before it was put up for auction.

His "Girl With Balloon" was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images.

The ever-elusive Banksy has released a new video detailing the now infamous shredding of his "Girl With Balloon" painting - which was auctioned off at Sothebys earlier this month.

The self-destruction of Banksy's £1 million painting immediately after being purchased at an auction has sent the internet into a flurry of debate as people try to search for the real meaning behind this dramatic stunt.

The video's only major revelation comes at the end: The words "In rehearsals it worked every time..." fill the screen, followed by footage of a dummy Girl With Balloon sailing through the shredder in full, resulting in an entirely damaged work.


Speculation about the artist's motives has been rife since the painting was partially shredded by a device inside the frame as the hammer went down, astonishing the audience at London's Sotheby auction house. It shows hands and a hooded figure (Banksy is fond of hoodies) constructing the mechanism.

Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Europe at the auction house, said the piece was "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".

He said the reason the shredder wasn't detected by Sotheby's staff is they had been instructed the frame was a key part of the work.

The lot was estimated to sell for £200,000 to £300,000 before the auction.

Most experts believed the painting was meant to stop halfway through shredding, an act that actually doubled the value of the artwork. It has since been rechristened Love Is in the Bin, and the artist-the likely consignor-has since reissued a certificate of authenticity.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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