Banksy video sheds light on planned artwork malfunction

Lula Sharp
October 21, 2018

When Banksy remotely shredded his "Girl with Balloon" during a Sotheby's auction earlier this month, it was both surprising and unsurprising.

At the end of the video, it notes that in rehearsals it worked every time.

Incidentally, there's still a huge amount of controversy going on over the painting and Sotheby's were debating whether to refund the person who bought it or if it was actually worth more in its new, shredded state.

The anonymous artist also confirmed the auction house had not been let into the secret, posting on Instagram: "Some people think it didn't really shred". It shows hands and a hooded figure (Banksy is fond of hoodies) constructing the mechanism.

Image: The video shows the shredder being inserted. Shortly after the hammer falls, someone in attendance presses a button on a remote, an alarm starts ringing out, and the art begins passing down through the hidden shredder in the bottom of the frame, stopping about halfway through.

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After the prank, the piece was granted certification by Pest Control, Banksy's authentication body, and was given the new title Love Is In The Bin.

"Girl With Balloon", which depicts a small child reaching up toward a heart-shaped red balloon, was originally stencilled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images. "It did. Some people think the auction house were in on it, they weren't". "Banksy made us. We have never encountered a similar situation in the past", - said the Director of the auction.

The lot had been estimated to sell for £200,000 to £300,000 before the auction.

Banksy has revealed that his partial shredding of an artwork during a Sotheby's auction did not go to plan and that the painting was instead meant to be completely destroyed.

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