The Shocking Moment a Piece of Art Self-Destructed After $1.4M Sale at Auction
Art prankster Banksy has struck again.
A work by the elusive street artist self-destructed in front of startled auction-goers on Friday, moments after being sold for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million). In an Instagram post Saturday, Banksy claimed the dramatic artistic payoff had been years in the making.
The spray-painted canvas “Girl With Balloon” went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London, fetching more than three times its pre-sale estimate and equaling a record price for the artist.
Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shredder embedded in the frame, leaving half the canvas hanging from the bottom in strips.
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…”
Banksy’s spokeswoman, Jo Brooks, confirmed that the post was genuine.
Sotheby’s – which had noted before the sale that the work’s ornate gilded frame was “an integral element of the artwork chosen by Banksy himself” – appeared as shocked as anyone else.
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, head of contemporary European art at the auction house.