Bid­der sees the value of her Banksy

Weekend Herald - - World -

The win­ning bid­der for a Banksy paint­ing that self-de­struc­ted dur­ing an auc­tion last week has de­cided to go through with the pur­chase, auc­tion­eer Sotheby’s said yes­ter­day.

The auc­tion house said a fe­male Euro­pean col­lec­tor was the suc­cess­ful bid­der, agree­ing to pay £1.04 mil­lion ($$2.1m) for Girl With Bal­loon.

But just af­ter the ham­mer came down, and to the shock of those in the sale­room, the bot­tom half of the work passed through a shred­der con­cealed in the frame.

Sotheby’s said the paint­ing has now been reti­tled Love is in the Bin

and au­then­ti­cated by Banksy’s Pest Con­trol agency.

Alex Branczik, head of con­tem­po­rary art for Europe at Sotheby’s, says it is “the first art­work in his­tory to have been cre­ated live dur­ing an auc­tion”.

The buyer’s iden­tity was not re­vealed but Sotheby’s quoted her as say­ing: “When the ham­mer came down last week and the work was shred­ded, I was at first shocked, but grad­u­ally I be­gan to re­alise that I would end up with my own piece of art his­tory.”

Banksy, who has never dis­closed his full iden­tity, be­gan his ca­reer spray-paint­ing build­ings in Bris­tol, Eng­land, and has be­come one of the world’s best-known artists. His mis­chievous and of­ten satir­i­cal images in­clude two po­lice­men kiss­ing, armed riot po­lice with yellow smi­ley faces and a chim­panzee with a sign bear­ing the words “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”

Girl With Bal­loon, which de­picts a small child reach­ing up to­ward a heart-shaped red bal­loon, was orig­i­nally sten­cilled on a wall in east Lon­don and has been end­lessly re­pro­duced, be­com­ing one of Banksy’s best­known images.

Girl With Bal­loon is one of Banksy’s best-known images.

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