A Bansky Painting Automatically Shreds Itself After Being Sold at Auction


Banksy’s “Girl With Red Balloon” painting shreds itself at Sotheby’s auction. Photo credits: www.sothebys.com

Jasmeen Rivera, Reporter

A painting titled “Girl With Red Balloon” created by anonymous British artist, Banksy, automatically shredded itself after being auctioned off for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s in London, October 5th. Moments after the painting was sold, the piece can be seen falling down its frame and reappearing at the bottom in vertical strips. It has been confirmed that there was a shredder hidden inside the frame controlled remotely. Auction-goers and buyers watched shocked as the painting “self-destructed” in front of their eyes.

According to The Washington Post, the artist is known to create elaborate pranks and schemes when it comes to their art. This is to achieve their goal of political activism and to voice their criticisms of widespread capitalism. The amount the painting was sold for was a record-breaking sale for the artist since 2008. “It appears we just been Banksy-ed,” comments Alex Branczik, Solethy’s senior director and head of contemporary art. “We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context,” Branczik also told The Washington Post, “The shredding is now part of the integral art work. We have not experienced a situation where a painting has spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist.”

Banksy took to Twitter to post a video of them putting a shredder into the frame years before the actual auction took place. The video also included the shocking prank that took place at the event with the caption, “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” A quote from the famous painter Picasso. This indicating that Banksy in disguise, or somebody who works for them, was at the auction when the painting was shredded.

Many assumptions have gone around stating that the painting will be worth even more that it’s now destroyed in such a monumental way; however, many others are saying that those accusations are the exact reason why Banksy shredded the piece in the first place. Writer Chris Mohney stated in Twitter, “The idea that Banksy’s art might be worth more at auction after he shredded it perfectly encapsulates how he is completely entombed by the system he purports to rail against.” Another Twitter user tweeted that same day, “Everybody who’s like THAT SHREDDED BANKSY IS WORTH MORE NOW… you are the punchline.”

While spray painting street art with transparent “anti-establishment messaging” and the creation of a dystopian version of Disneyland named “Dismaland”, Banksy has managed to keep his identity hidden from the public. After many attempts, journalists and reporters still fail to put a name to the artist that is Banksy.