What a cut-up: $1.4M Banksy art piece shreds it­self

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - WORLD - By Jill Law­less

LON­DON — Art prankster Banksy has struck again.

A work by the elu­sive street artist self-de­struc­ted in front of star­tled auc­tion-go­ers on Fri­day, mo­ments af­ter be­ing sold for $1.4 mil­lion. In an In­sta­gram post Sat­ur­day, Banksy claimed the dra­matic artis­tic pay­off had been years in the mak­ing.

The spray-painted can­vas “Girl With Bal­loon” went un­der the ham­mer at Sotheby’s in Lon­don, fetch­ing more than three times its pre-sale es­ti­mate and equal­ing a record price for the artist.

Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shred­der em­bed­ded in the frame, leav­ing half the can­vas hang­ing from the bot­tom in strips.

A post on Banksy’s of­fi­cial In­sta­gram ac­count showed the mo­ment — and the shocked re­ac­tion of those in the room — with the words “Go­ing, go­ing, gone …”

A video was later posted on the ac­count, stat­ing: “A few years ago I se­cretly built a shred­der into a paint­ing in case it was ever put up for auc­tion.”

The video showed images of a shred­der be­ing im­planted into a pic­ture frame along with footage of Fri­day’s auc­tion fi­nale.

Sotheby’s — which had noted be­fore the sale that the work’s or­nate gilded frame was “an in­te­gral el­e­ment of the art­work cho­sen by Banksy him­self ” — ap­peared as shocked as any­one else.

“It ap­pears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, head of con­tem­po­rary Euro­pean art at the auc­tion house.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

The spray-painted can­vas “Girl With Bal­loon” by artist Banksy. The work self-de­struc­ted in front of auc­tion-go­ers Fri­day mo­ments af­ter be­ing sold.

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