The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, May 27, 2019

Banksy shocks art world by shredding £1 million work at auction
Banksy posted a video Saturday on his Instagram page accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso -- "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge" -- showing the stunt unfolding and how he pulled it off.

by Joe Jackson

LONDON (AFP).- British street artist Banksy has stunned the art world with arguably his most audacious prank yet, self-destructing one of his best-known works moments after it fetched more than a million pounds at auction in London.

"Girl with Balloon" had just sold at Sotheby's Friday for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million, 1.2 million euros) -- a joint record for the maverick artist -- when it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.

Banksy posted a video Saturday on his Instagram page accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso -- "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge" -- showing the stunt unfolding and how he pulled it off.

"A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting, in case it was ever put up for auction," read captions displayed over footage of a man crafting the device into a faux-gilt frame.

The video later shows scenes from Sotheby's, where onlookers are left aghast as an alarm sounds and most of the image drops down through the frame and is left shredded.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe, in a press release.

"The unexpected incident became instant art world folklore and certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer," the auctioneers added in the statement.

Earlier Saturday, Banksy had posted a photo of the shredded work with a caption, imitating an auctioneer, that read: "going, going, gone".

The post, and reports of a man dressed in black sunglasses and a hat scuffling with security guards near the entrance to Sotheby's shortly after the incident, led to speculation the artist was present to trigger it.

Sotheby's, which could not be reached for further comment on Saturday, did not disclose if it had prior knowledge of the stunt.

Branczik said he was "not in on the ruse", according to The Art Newspaper.

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context," he reportedly added.

"The shredding is now part of the integral art work."

Sotheby's did not release details on the buyer, but reports said the winning bid was made by telephone.

"We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story," the auctioneers said in a statement to The Financial Times.

"We are in discussion about next steps."

Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, has never confirmed his real identity.

Matched previous record
He rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

The artist has also produced a treasure trove of other kinds of images, and his head-turning work have repeatedly sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds, including to a raft of famous people.

His "Happy Choppers" from 2006 fetched $735,000 also on Friday at a New York auction of personal effects owned by the late actor Robin Williams and his wife.

The price paid in London Friday evening for "Girl with Balloon" matched the artist's previous record at a 2008 auction for another work, Sotheby's said.

The spray paint and acrylic work on canvas and mounted on board -- which was created in 2006 after first appearing as a mural in East London -- depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart-shaped balloon.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work.

Mehdi Ben Cheikh, a Parisian street art specialist, said the stunt was "in the same vein as his performance in New York, which questions and criticises the limits of the art market."

Banksy in 2013 set up a stand near the city's Central Park and sold 20 signed canvases of his own work for $60 each.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 7, 2018

Banksy shocks art world by shredding £1 million work at auction

Spanish opera star Montserrat Caballe dies aged 85

Kunsthalle Mannheim completes its new building with James Turrell's light corridor Split Decision

Unprecedented loans from the National Portrait Gallery, London, chronicle 500 years of the British monarchy

Artcurial announces highlights from Paris#Marrakech sales

Kerlin Gallery opens a solo exhibition of new work by Sean Scully

The Tampa Museum of Art installs kaleidoscopic Infinity Room by Yayoi Kusama

Iconic National Geographic cover image leads Heritage Auctions' Photographs Auction

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation opens exhibition of works by Alberto Giacometti and Rui Chafes

Kimbell Art Museum showcases more than 85 of Francisco de Goya's greatest works on paper

Galerie Max Hetzler opens a solo exhibition with new works by Louise Bonnet

David Shrigley creates an installation exclusively for Spritmuseum's gallery

Perrotin opens Izumi Kato's first solo exhibition in Seoul

De La Warr Pavilion presents Lucy Beech's "Reproductive Exile"

Success for Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu at Bonhams Africa Now sale

Everson Museum's I.M. Pei-designed building celebrates 50th anniversary

Artworks attributed to Paul Gauguin and Albert Bierstadt highlight sale

Brazilian artist Nino Cais' second exhibition with Fridman Gallery opens in New York

Exhibition of works on paper by Mumbai-based artist Aditi Singh on view at Thomas Erben Gallery

Exhibition presents a collection of portraits of women from across the U.S. who identify as witches

Crystal Bridges announces the debut of "Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now"

National Galleries of Scotland opens "Pin-Ups: Toulouse Lautrec and The Art of Celebrity"

Fine Art Asia and Ink Asia 2018: World-class platforms for antiques, fine art and ink art in Hong Kong

Composer Sakamoto fulfils childhood dream with animation

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Christie's to highlight several private collections in Jewellery sale

2.- Mystery of 'Salvator Mundi', the world's most costly painting

3.- High prices and world records achieved at Old Masters auction

4.- Newly identified Leonardo portrait on show in London

5.- Rare Edouard Cortes painting appears at Rehs Galleries after 114 years

6.- Understanding Jewellery: The definitive jewellery app

7.- Academy Art Museum offers only East Coast Richard Diebenkorn exhibition

8.- Egypt uncovers Old Kingdom cemetery containing colourful wooden coffins

9.- Garry Winogrand: Color is the first exhibition dedicated to the artist's rarely seen color photographs

10.- Sotheby's welcomes visitors to their newly-expanded & reimagined galleries

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful