Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Banksy reveals how he concealed shredder in painting after auction house stunt

Banksy girl with balloon self destruct Sothebys shredder Banksy's painting 'self-destructed' after $1.4M sale
Guillermo Jimenez | 10 October, 2018, 10:47

Girl With Balloon, one of Banksy's most widely recognised works, was auctioned by Sotheby's in London on Friday night. Presumably the frame shown in the video is the one that was holding "Girl With Balloon" on Friday, though it's worth noting that with Banksy, things are rarely exactly as they seem.

The Girl With Balloon sold for over R20 million at an auction in London but then self-destructed the minute the hammer went down.

The $1.4 million sale tied the artist's record in sales at a 2008 auction, according to the statement.

The already (in) famous ambush has been the talk of the art world, with observers variously describing it a stinging riposte to empty consumerism, the elusive artist's best work yet, a childish and "puerile" prank and a sly ode to the volatility and dynamism of the art market itself.

A post on Banksy's official Instagram account showed the moment - and the shocked reaction of those in the room - with the words "Going, going, gone".

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Following the shredding, Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director, said: "It appears we just got Banksy-ed".

The auction house added: "We had no prior knowledge of this event and were not in any way involved".

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context ..."

Geneva-based artist Pierre Koukjian, who was at the auction, said the buyer was "very lucky" to own a now-historic piece.

"The "shredded" work is, in fact, still in one piece, ready to be exhibited in a gallery or sold at another auction", Nanay wrote.

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Ian Syer, co-Founder of MyArtBroker.com said: "Banksy is unique to the art world". "Art and humor! Love it", "brilliant", "You are a genius!" were just some of the comments the anonymous artist received following the stunt.

By the year 2000, Banksy had adopted his now-signature style of stencilling and his works became widely known in Bristol and London.

"He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius".

Now, Banksy has revealed how he did it.

It feels improbable on many levels that such shenanigans could have really taken places without some kind of buy-in from Sotheby's, and likewise improbable that anyone within the big-money art scene would willingly abet the destruction of a paycheck - sanctity of the actual art aside.

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