Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Banksy Print Self-Destructs at Auction After Artist Activates Hidden Shredder

Banksy Print Self-Destructs at Auction After Artist Activates Hidden Shredder

Prankster artist Banksy has revealed how he carried out his biggest stunt yet.

The proponent of the latter view, Professor of Philosophy Bence Nanay, noted that the work was not fully destroyed when a hidden device started to shred it after being sold but stopped halfway to produce a Banksy work like no other.

The auction house says it didn't know anything about it.

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.

"You could argue that the work is now more valuable", he continued.

The spray paint and acrylic work on canvas and mounted on board - which was created in 2006 after first appearing as a mural in East London - depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart-shaped balloon. In an Instagram post Saturday, Banksy claimed the dramatic artistic payoff had been years in the making.

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

"In its shredded state, we'd estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50 per cent to its value, possibly as high as being worth 2 million pounds". The collection's proceeds will benefit the Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art. "That's the ironic part", he told Time. While the act may have been in protest of the art market and the exorbitant prices paid for works of art at auction, experts declare that the value of the piece will most likely increase as a result of the performance.

Conspiracy theories abound: who was in on the jaw-dropping stunt?

Sotheby's Contemporary Art said in a statement the painting from the famous graffiti artist Banksy "self-destructed" just as the gavel fell Friday at Sotheby's auction house in London. "If he was a lesser artist, he would have destroyed the art's value". Another theory, reported by College Times, includes the notion that Banksy himself was the mystery bidder. The painting had sold moments before for $1.4 million to an unidentified buyer, who purchased the painting via telephone.

Ron English, the New York-based street artist whose surreal work frequently comments on capitalism, said that Banksy's antagonism toward his own work is like "Duchamp on steroids".

Like this: