Buyer of Banksy work that self-destructed to keep it

Banksy girl with balloon self destruct Sothebys shredder

After the gavel fell on his "Girl with a Balloon" painting at Sotheby's London for $1.4 million, the artwork dropped through a shredder in the frame, reducing half of it to ribbons. "It is a new and all the more valuable work of art, a unique document of an exciting moment in contemporary art history". This is an ephemeral art form that street artists who come from the street art world understand: "'It's not gonna last.' Then, ironically, there becomes a demand for it".

"There are limited numbers of Girl With Balloon prints in the world, today, we lost one and it's a crying shame".

The artist Banksy is known for elaborate hijinks, from masking his (or her) identity to his latest destructive, headline-grabbing stunt that's now driving up the price of an already expensive artwork. Banksy also created a documentary file "Exit Through the Gift Shop" that was billed as the first street art disaster movie.

Banksy's painting "Girl with Red Balloon" is seen shredded after its sale at Sotheby auction in London, Britain October 5, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media on October 6, 2018.

In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-toting ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum, where it remained for several days before being discovered. It made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. "He's always thinking in a multi-layered way, and that's part of his genius".

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Acoris Andipa, an art dealer and Banksy specialist, described the stunning shredding as "spectacularly staged" and a "brilliant comment on the art market".

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work. He said the auction house was still "busily figuring out" how the transaction for the now radically altered work will play out.

The auctioneer's hurried attempts to bring the shocked spectators' attention back to the block led some to suggest that Sotheby's employees were in on the scheme.

"What he did is really shocking, in a good way", Koukjian said. "Ironically, this will only escalate its value".

The incident spurred questions about how Banksy had pulled it off and whether he had been at the auction in disguise.

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