Banksy’s Shredded Art: The Story Behind “Girl with Balloon”

o brother where art thou

Banksy is an England-based graffiti artist. Though this street artist never disclosed his true identity, he is the most renowned and mysterious artist of our time.

People who live in England must have seen his sprayed illicitly combined with dark humor in different public places and building across the country. Most of his spray-painted images are illegal, but they make headlines of news and media.

In 2018, the artist came into limelight for his shredded artwork which was first appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. It may safely be said that he played one of the most daring stunts in art history. He arranged one of his most-acclaimed artworks for self-destruction that was sold at auction for £1.4m.

The Story Behind The Incident

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Banksy’s Girl With Balloon was the last item in the auction at Sotheby’s in London. Soon after the hammer came down on the item, the painting started to pass via a shredder fitted inside the frame. As the art picture came out through its frame into shreds, the audience stood in bewilderment immediately. People were anxious about what would happen next? Would this nullify the sale? What would be the resale value?

The artist then released the picture of his shredded painting on Instagram with the caption, “Going, going, gone.” Soon after the sale, the auction house admitted that the self-destruction of Banksy’s artwork was just a prank.

The very next day, on Saturday’s evening, Banksy posted a video from his Instagram account that proved a shredder had fitted to the painting frame. The video opened with a caption: “A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting.” This clip showed a hooded person giving the finishing touch to the shredder.

Down the line, he released another video that indicates that the painting was intended to be shredded thoroughly, but the frame malfunctioned at the auction house. The posted on his channel disclosed that the shredding mechanism worked excellently during other practice runs. The clip also showed a sample painting entirely shredded by the frame.

Afterward, Banksy’s sectionally shredded artwork was given a new title, “Love is in the Bin.”

Soon after this incident, Sotheby’s, one of the largest brokers of fine and decorative art, released a statement that state, “Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork, instead, created a new one.” They further said, it is the first artwork in history that was created during a live auction.

The Buyer of Banksy’s Shredded Art

Though the auction house didn’t reveal the identity of the buyer at that time, later on, the buyer was identified as a female European collector. She said in her statement to media, “at first, I was disturbed, but gradually, I began to understand that I would end up with my piece of art history.” Thus she decided to go through the purchase.

Banksy’s Shredded Art Authenticated as Original Artwork

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Banksy’s “Girl with Balloon” has left its mark on the art world. This art received comprehensive coverage across the world. Even the Pest Control, the authentication body for an anonymous street artist, authenticated Banksy’s Shredded art itself a new original artwork.

Though for a few people it had turned into the subject of memes then, it has been outlined as the artist’s most significant work. According to the website MyArtBroker that resells artwork of Banksy, “Girl with Balloon” painting has relished annual rise in the value of around 20% in recent years. The co-founder of MyArtbroker, Joey Syer said, “prices are also continuously growing for signed authenticated prints,”

Apart from this, Banksy’s shredded art, Girl With Ballon was also voted for the UK’s best-loved art.

“Love is the Bin” is the first artwork in the history to have been created in a live auction.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the art is subjective and art pranks are mysterious, particularly when artists like Banksy are behind them.