Banksy artwork shreds itself after £1m sale at Sothebys

Carla Harmon
October 6, 2018

The buyer may not be totally out of luck: Vice notes that while sales are usually nixed if works are damaged before they leave Sotheby's, the on-site annihilation could actually make the artwork even more valuable.

The piece's sale price matched that of Banksy's previous auction record of £1.04 million.

A Banksy artwork "self-destructed" at a Friday night Sotheby's auction in London.

A device hidden within the frame of the painting causes part of it to be shredded.

As soon as the hammer struck on the winning bid, an alarm started sounding and the painting began to slowly drop down through its frame - which just so happened to be a shredder - tearing up the print in the process.

The artist took a picture of the shocking moment the audacious prank was played out, which he posted to Instagram with the caption "Going, going, gone.".

Banksy is renowned for his provocative and satirical street art, which is sometimes politically charged.

Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

However art dealers believe the stunt could have increased the work's value.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed".

In a screengrab of a conversation with the artist, he said: "I don't charge people to see my art unless there's a fairground wheel", in reference to his dystopic amusement park Dismaland, which he opened to the public for a fee in Weston-super-mare in 2015.

He rose to fame with graffiti that appeared on buildings across the United Kingdom, often marked by deeply satirical undertones.

Girl With Balloon appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.

Prior to its shredding, the framed "Girl with Balloon" - spray paint and acrylic on canvas mounted on board - depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart-shaped balloon.

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