Banksy and the Balloon

Banksy is well known throughout the art world for his spray paint creations and is also famed for being one of the most infamous provocateurs, so it was of little surprise that another news story has hit our headlines last month surrounding him and his artwork.

On the 11th of October, one of Banksy’s most famous paintings ‘Girl with Balloon’, was due to be sold at Sotheby’s in London. The artwork generated large amounts of attention and was finally sold for a price of £1,042,000. Moments after the gavel went down, a noise could be heard emanating from the frame, and the painting proceeded to shred itself, stopping halfway. This left the bottom half of the painting in shreds, with the top half still intact.

The anonymous artist released a video of this and posted it on his Instagram account, detailing the reactions of people and the shredding of the painting itself, but quickly removed it afterward. Despite this, many media outlets have gained access to the video, which is now available to everyone through a quick Google search.

It still remains unclear as to who or how the shredder was activated, but what is known is that the painting was meant to fully shred itself, which has been confirmed by a video released by Banksy two days after the incident. The two main theories are that the shredder battery died, or the shredder became jammed.

However, the failure of the shredder has turned out to be extremely lucky for the unnamed European Lady who purchased the painting, as it is now estimated that the stunt and the media attention attached to this has since dramatically increased the value of the piece. Pest Control, a firm acting on behalf of Banksy, has revealed that the piece should now go by a new name – ‘Love is in the Bin’.

Through this act, instead of destroying a piece of artwork, it seems Banksy has created a new one, a piece that becomes the first artwork in known history to have been created live during an auction.

Sotheby’s have denied any involvement with the stunt, claiming that they had no knowledge about what was going to happen. Given the media attention this has received, and the shock of it happening in the first place, the next time a piece of work by Banksy enters into an auction, everyone will be awaiting the gavel going down with baited breath.

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