What hap­pened to Banksy piece

She says she now has ‘my own piece of art his­tory.’ Sotheby’s says it ‘wasn’t in on’ the artist’s plan.

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Deb­o­rah Vankin deb­o­rah.vankin@la­times.com Twit­ter: @de­b­vankin

The buyer was shocked. Sotheby’s says it was blind­sided. But shred­ded paint­ing has a new life.

It’s of­fi­cial: Banksy’s “Girl With Bal­loon” is now a new piece of per­for­ma­tive art.

The fate of Banksy’s 2006 spray-paint work has been un­cer­tain since the U.K. street artist’s stunt last Fri­day at a Sotheby’s auc­tion in Lon­don. Af­ter selling for $1.4 mil­lion, the paint­ing sud­denly slipped through a re­mote-con­trolled shred­der hid­den in its frame.

Then the ques­tions be­gan: Would the sale re­main valid? Would the win­ning bid­der want the al­tered work? Would its new, half­shred­ded form be worth less or more, given its el­e­vated sta­tus af­ter the global me­dia at­ten­tion?

On Thurs­day, Sotheby’s of­fered an­swers.

Af­ter a week of ne­go­ti­a­tions, the win­ning tele­phone bid­der — whom the auc­tion house de­scribed in an In­sta­gram post as a “long­stand­ing client” who is a “fe­male Euro­pean col­lec­tor” — is go­ing through with her pur­chase at its orig­i­nal price. Half of the im­age is still vis­i­ble in its heavy, gold frame, while the other half – now sim­ply a skirt of shred­ded pa­per fringe — dan­gles be­low it. Sotheby’s, which boasts that the new work “was cre­ated in our salesroom,” is now call­ing the piece “the first work in his­tory ever cre­ated dur­ing a live auc­tion.”

The anony­mous buyer says the work marks a sem­i­nal event.

“When the ham­mer came down last week and the work was shred­ded, I was at first shocked,” she said in a state­ment, “but grad­u­ally I be­gan to re­al­ize that I would end up with my own piece of art his­tory.”

To mark the fact that the work, af­ter its trans­for­ma­tion, is now an en­tirely new piece, Banksy has re­named the paint­ing. It’s now: “Love Is in the Bin” (2018). His of­fi­cial au­then­ti­ca­tion body, his com­pany Pest Con­trol, has re­cer­ti­fied the work and granted it a new cer­tifi­cate.

There have been ques­tions whether — and to what ex­tent — Banksy may have col­lab­o­rated with the auc­tion house to pull off the elab­o­rate stunt, which is an anti-cap­i­tal­ist cri­tique of the art mar­ket.

But Sotheby’s de­nies it was in­volved.

“Were we in on it? Ab­so­lutely not,” Sotheby’s head of con­tem­po­rary art in Europe Alex Branczik posted on In­sta­gram. “Do you re­ally think Banksy, who spent his youth sten­cil­ing walls in Bris­tol and dodg­ing the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, would want to col­lab­o­rate with the art es­tab­lish­ment? … Come on, you should all know bet­ter.”

The paint­ing, which was auc­tioned as part of Sotheby’s “Frieze Week” con­tem­po­rary art sale, will this week­end be on view at Sotheby’s New Bond Street gal­leries in Lon­don.

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Im­ages

THE BANKSY WORK auc­tioned in Lon­don Oct. 5 as “Girl With Bal­loon” is now “Love Is in the Bin.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.