A self-destructable work by Banksy bought for a million euros

work by Banksy

The artist boasted in social networks of what happened while the canvas was crushed

The last prank of the British artist Banksy has one of his most famous works as the protagonist. On Friday night, the creator released an Instagram photograph of the moment when the Girl With Balloon canvas shattered as it passed through a paper shredder installed in the lower part of the frame after being auctioned for 1.04. million pounds (1.1 million euros) in the London house Sotheby’s.

“Going, going, gone!”, Banksy writes under the image in his profile of this social network, in allusion to the words the auctioneer pronounces when he awards a work to a client and that can be translated as “leaves, leaves, It is gone”. “It seems that we have just been Banksy-tados “, admitted Sotheby’s contemporary art director, Alex Branczik, after the bid, before the surprised reaction of the audience. Specialized media in the art world, like Arnetnews and his expert Colin Gleadell, suggest that it is a staging, that the artist could be the buyer and wonder if the bookmaker was compinchada.

In a survey conducted in July 2017, this work was considered the favorite of the British, ahead of paintings by John Constable and JMW Turner and sculptures by Antony Gormley. Reproduced in hundreds of different versions, it is one of the best-known images of the artist in the whole world.

A box by Banksy self-destructed after being auctioned for more than a million pounds

One of the most famous works of the famous British artist Banksy was destroyed. It was not an accident or an act of vandalism, but a joke thought by its own author. Titled “Girl with a balloon” (Girl with a balloon), she was born in 2002 as a graffiti by Banksy on a wall in London. The image was replicated in walls around the world and became a symbol of urban art. 

“It seems we’ve just been Banksy-ago,” admitted Sotheby’s director of contemporary art, Alex Branczik. While the auction house said it is analyzing what steps to follow, many suspects that the entire intervention was previously scheduled and that both the agency and the final buyer knew of the surprise that Banksy had planned.

On Friday, after a canvas version of that work was auctioned for more than a million pounds, an alarm suddenly sounded, a paper shredder was activated hidden in the frame and the image was destroyed halfway. Everything was before the surprised look and the laughter of those who attended the auction.

A work of the mysterious British artist Banksy self-destructs after being auctioned

Banksy himself posted a photo on Instagram of attendees surprised to see the work disintegrate. The people present in the room were stunned first and then laughed when the bottom half of “Girl with a Balloon,” one of Banksy’s best-known works, was smashed to pieces by a shredder hidden in the frame as soon as the bidding closed. , said Sotheby’s auction house.

The work, painted 12 years ago, had just been sold for 1,042,000 pounds ($ 1.37 million), equaling the historical record reached by a work by Banksy.

“It looks like Banksy has played it for us,” said Alex Branczik, director and head of contemporary art, in a statement on Sotheby’s website. Banksy himself published a photo on Instagram of attendees surprised to see the work disintegrate, with the phrase “goes, goes, left …”.

Sotheby’s said that “of course” is the first time that a work of art begins to be undone after being auctioned. The auction house was not immediately available to comment on the whereabouts of the remains of the work or if its value had changed as a result of its self-destruction.

Banksy, whose real identity is a mystery, is known for his outdoor graffiti with a strong ironic charge when dealing with political issues such as the wall erected by Israel in the West Bank or the time he painted at Disneyland a life-size figure of a detainee in Guantánamo Bay.

The artist has already made jokes or similar performances. In 2005, he hung a painting of a caveman pushing a shopping cart for days without being detected and in 2006 he put a life-size reproduction of a Guantánamo prisoner in Disneyland.

The piece auctioned on Friday night dates from 2006 and shows a girl trying to reach a heart-shaped balloon. It was a canvas version of a design that first appeared as graffiti on a street in East London.

Originally from the English city of Bristol, Banksy became known for his subversive paintings that appeared in various parts of the world, from London to Palestine, and since then he has become a sought-after artist. After a few months of inactivity, in June 2018, the artist reappeared with eight paintings distributed in Paris. His role in favor of refugee rights, especially in Calais, has been very active. Banksy also donated to the refugees in the Calais Jungle the material that served to build his ephemeral amusement park, Disneyland, opened and closed in 2015 in the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, near Bristol.


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