Shred­ded paint­ing is now worth dou­ble

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

PARIS — When street artist Banksy de­stroyed one of his works of art last week sec­onds af­ter it was sold at auc­tion, he prob­a­bly added to its value, with some ex­perts sug­gest­ing it could now be worth dou­ble its orig­i­nal price.

No one knows how the se­cre­tive artist ac­ti­vated a shred­der hid­den within the frame of his paint­ing Girl with Bal­loon just af­ter it was sold last week by Sotheby’s for $1.4 mil­lion.

The mav­er­ick Bri­tish artist posted a video on In­sta­gram in the wake of the prank ac­com­pa­nied by a quote at­trib­uted to Pablo Pi­casso — “The urge to de­stroy is also a cre­ative urge”.

He said he had fit­ted the shred­der in case the paint­ing should ever be put up for auc­tion — where its fi­nal price set a joint record for his work.

“Banksy might think that by de­stroy­ing his art he’s un­der­min­ing cap­i­tal­ists who buy it, but he’s wrong,” com­mented Mikael Fau­jour of the spe­cial­ist French art mag­a­zine Arten­sion.

“The left­overs from this de­struc­tion will ac­quire a new pres­tige and ad­di­tional mone­tary worth,” he said.

Thierry Ehrmann, who heads Art­price, a firm which closely mon­i­tors art mar­ket prices, agreed that the prank had prob­a­bly in­creased the value of the work.

It might now be worth “more than two mil­lion eu­ros”, he sug­gested.

“It’s a per­for­mance in the line of Mar­cel Duchamp’s ‘Ready Made’,” he said speak­ing of a term coined by the French artist in 1915 to de­scribe a some­times mod­i­fied, but al­ways com­mon ob­ject, not usu­ally thought of as a work of art.

“Banksy re­minds peo­ple that, even in a prom­i­nent auc­tion, all his art is fleet­ing,” he added.

Piece of art his­tory

Ar­naud Oliveux, an ex­pert at the Artcu­rial auc­tion house in Paris, sug­gested Banksy was care­ful not to de­stroy the whole of his paint­ing.

Be­cause it is only par­tially shred­ded, “it be­comes some­thing else, egged on by the so­cial me­dia buzz” and ac­quires the aura of “an iconic work of art”, he said.

The auc­tion house re­vealed on Thurs­day that the mod­i­fied Banksy has since been re­named as Love is in the Bin, and cer­ti­fied by Pest Con­trol, the artist’s au­then­ti­ca­tion body.

“When the ham­mer came down last week and the work was shred­ded, I was at first shocked, but grad­u­ally I be­gan to re­al­ize that I would end up with my own piece of art his­tory,” said the buyer, an un­named fe­male Euro­pean col­lec­tor.

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