Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ Painting Wasn’t Completely Destroyed—Thanks to a Shredder Malfunction
Banksy, the anonymous U.K.-based street artist struck again last week when the painter’s “Girl With Balloon” self-destructed after being auctioned off for $1.4 million. But the antic didn’t go as planned.
Earlier this month, just moment’s after Banksy’s painting was sold at an auction at Sotheby’s in London, the painting self-destructed and went through a shredder that was hidden at the bottom of the artwork. The painting was worth double after the stunt.
The artist shared a video Tuesday that showed the painting being completely shredded. Apparently, a shredder malfunction actually prevented the painting from being totally destroyed during the auction. Banksy’s clip was accompanied by the message, “In rehearsals it worked every time…”
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art told the Associated Press the art dealer company is still unsure how to proceed. “We have not experienced this situation in the past where a painting spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist,” Branczik said. “We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context.”
Banksy shared a video on Instagram over the weekend showing how the prank was pulled off, explaining that the shredder was secretly built into the painting a few years ago “in case it was ever put up for auction.” The post was captioned with the quote, “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” which Banksy attributed to Picasso; however, the line was actually said by the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin.