Banksy shredded his own £1.04 million artwork just after it sold at Sotheby’s
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Banksy – or the artist conglomerate known as Banksy – is widely considered to be a political artist, an artist with “something to say.” I’ve always wondered about that – while politics can exist in a simple image, I sometimes feel like “the politics of Banksy” are more anarchistic rather than socialist (or whatever). It’s not that he wants to make some kind of overarching message about consumerism, capitalism, diplomacy or peace. It’s that he just wants chaos and he wants it to be fun.
Well, at a Sotheby’s auction on Friday night, one of Banksy’s images was up for sale. The image was Girl With Balloon, one of his most famous graffiti pieces (which he recreates). As soon as the image sold to a bidder for £1.04 million, the image began to shred in the frame (or out of the frame). As in, the frame was a built-in shredder, and someone must have been there to push a button, so the person who dropped £1.04 million on it is now the proud owner of a shredded piece of an art and ingenious frame which shreds things.
Is Sotheby’s on the hook for this? Will the bidder refuse to pay? Or is it actually worth more now? That would be my question – I think it’s actually worth more now, because you can take the strips of paper and frame them, and you hang the shredder frame and now you have two Banksy originals. As for this being described as some kind of “commentary” on how the art world is foolish or whatever…sure, maybe. But mostly I think he just did this to have fun and sow chaos.
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Going, going, gone…
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Photos courtesy of Instagram, Getty.
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