Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Buyer of shredded Banksy work goes through with deal

The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m Camera Icon The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m
Angelica Greene | 12 October, 2018, 10:13

"Girl With Balloon", one of the most recognized works of the England-based street artist known as Banksy, fetched a hefty $1.37 million (£1.04 million) at a Sotheby's auction in London on Friday.

Quoting Picasso, Banksy has released a video showing how he secretly built a shredder into the painting which made headlines around the world when it self-destructed during an auction last week.

Sotheby's said that it was discussing how to move forward with "Balloon's" buyer, who now owns a shredded but historically significant work by one of contemporary art's most famous figures.

It's perhaps surprising that no alarm bells began ringing among the observers when the piece sold for the exact same sum as Banksy's previous auction record, set in 2008.

The auction house identified the buyer - who will keep the piece - as a female European collector and long-standing client of Sotheby's.

Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public. Art prankster Banksy has struck again. In 2013, he established a booth in a NY market where he sold his original works for $60 (N21,810).

The clip shows him placing the blade and later cuts to footage shot inside the auction room of the moment the shredder does its job.

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Never had we seen such a scene during an auction.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", said Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London. He also has a penchant for elaborate pranks. The gallery version that was up for sale on Friday was rendered in 2006, and it was signed and dedicated on the back.

In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-toting ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum, where it remained for several days before being discovered.

Banksy works including Slave Labour are due to go under the hammer and auctioneers have promised no items will "shred or explode".

Banksy works, like Monkey Queen, continue to be widely appreciated - and sought after.

"What he did is really shocking, in a good way", Koukjian said.

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