Buyer of shredded Banksy work goes through with deal

Lewis Collier
October 12, 2018

The buyer of a Banksy print that began shredding itself as soon as the hammer went down is going ahead with the purchase.

A post on Banksy's official Instagram account showed the moment with the words "Going, going, gone".

According to Sotheby's, the buyer commented: "When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history".

Despite its newly-shredded state, Sotheby's tweeted, "We are pleased to announce that the winning bidder on Banksy's "Girl with Balloon" last Friday night in London has confirmed their decision to acquire the new work that was created in our salesroom".

While Banksy may have intended his guerrilla approach to the sale to be a dark commentary on capitalism, the stunt has only had the opposite effect: not only is his painting now more valuable than ever, but of course brands are getting in on the fun, creating their own "self-shredding" memes to play off of the pop culture moment.

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"Balloon Girl" came top in a 2017 poll of arts writers to find Britain's favourite artwork, Sotheby's said.

The auction house said the artwork had been granted a certificate by Banksy's authentication body and has given a new title, "Love is in the Bin".

The auction house said a female European collector was the successful bidder, agreeing to pay 1.04 million pounds ($1.8 million Cdn) for Girl with Balloon.

The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.

"Rauschenberg erased de Kooning's drawing; Gustav Metzger and Jean Tinguely pioneered auto-destructive art; Michael Landy shredded all his possessions; and what about Banksy himself and his corrupted oils?"

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