Banksy Painting Immediately Self-Destructs After Being Sold For $1.4 Million

By Amanda Froelich

If street artist Banksy is anything, he is unpredictable. This was made evident once again when the artist’s iconic Girl with Balloon self-destructed after being sold for a whopping £1,042,000 ($1.4 million) at a London auction.

Just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions, the work of art began to pass through a shredder that was hidden in the frame. The artwork, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart-shaped balloon. Sotheby’s reports that the original piece sold for a similar amount in 2008.

Following the jaw-dropping development, Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London, commented: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.” While replicated pieces exist, none compare to the piece at Sotheby’s.

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Going, going, gone…

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

To appease the stunned public, Banksy took to social media and explained the stunt. He wrote that he had secretly built the shredder in the painting a number of years ago — even before it was put up for auction. He simply decided on the day that it was time to carry out his elaborate stunt.

All That is Interesting reports that the street artist paired the video with a famous Pablo Picasso quote: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” Banksy’s Girl with Balloon is now the first artwork in history to “automatically shred itself.”

This isn’t the first time Banksy has “wowed” the public with his creative wit and it certainly won’t be the last. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Source: Sotheby’s, All That is Interesting

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