BANKSY has revealed how he caused his most famous painting to shred itself just seconds after it was sold for £1million at auction.
The crowd at the Sotheby’s London auction house were left stunned when his Girl with Balloon artwork started to self-destruct on Friday night.
It sold for a staggering £1,042,000 but it was left hanging in strips when it went through the device which had been placed inside the frame.
He has now claimed he placed a shredder inside the frame and uploaded it to his Instagram page, and wrote: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge – Picasso.”
The footage, which has been viewed more than 5million times, shows the device being installed inside the frame before being covered up.
It then shows the moment the iconic piece was sold – and then seconds later coming out in pieces.
The framed, stencil spray painting shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon and had been the final piece sold, equalling Banksy’s previous auction record of £1.04 million.
Many in the crowd weren’t sure if the painting would be worthless after seemingly being destroyed but an art broker believes its value has now gone up.
Joey Syer, co-founder of the website MyArtBroker.com that resells Banksy pieces, said: “The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.02m they paid last night.
“This is now part of art history in its shredded state and we’d estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to its value, possibly as high as being worth £2m plus.”
The famous piece of artwork had just sold for over £1million[/caption]
Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy wrote: “Going, going, gone…”
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe, said: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”
Banksy is a Bristol-born artist whose true identity – despite rampant speculation – has never been officially revealed.
He came to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country, marked by deeply satirical undertones.
Friday’s self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist.
The artwork is one of Banksy’s most well-known pieces[/caption]
MAN BEHIND THE MASK Who is Banksy ?
Rumours have long circulated about the true identity of street artist Banksy.
A number of people claim to have spotted him at work but no sighting has ever been officially confirmed while other clues have been used to try and unmask the legend.
- Robin Gunningham was an early candidate to be “revealed” as the man behind Banksy in 2008. Years later researchers at Queen Mary University of London used “geographic profiling” to match the locations of Banksy paintings to a pub, playing fields and residential addresses with links to Gunningham. Representatives for the artist have denied the theory.
- Robert Del Naja was touted as the anonymous artist in 2017 when Bristol DJ Goldie appeared to name the Massive Attack member, a personal friend, in an interview. He said: “No disrespect to Rob, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
- Liverpool pub sighting – A photo showing a man wearing a high-vis jacket appearing to start work on a painting of a giant white rat on the White Horse pub in Liverpool in 2004 sparked speculation Banksy had finally been unmasked.
- Bethlehem pictures – William Kasper, from London, believed he had unmasked the graffiti king with pictures captured in 2007. Members of the public later identified the painter as James Ame – also known as aka AM72 – a UK painter who lives in Israel.
- Bristol video footage – Grainy 47-second clip shows a man in a hoodie and a painter’s face mask using stencils and cardboard to spray fresh graffiti in an underpass in Bansky’s native Bristol in 2010.
- Dismaland sighting – In 2015, fans were convinced they spotted a man who they thought might look like Banksy outside his Dismaland installation in Weston-super-Mare. But to their disappointment, it was later revealed to be a parking attendant from the local council.
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Other recent works included the opening of Dismaland, his dystopian, Disneyland-esque theme park in 2015, which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.
Girl With Balloon appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London.
The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.
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