ibusinesslines.com December 13, 2018

Banksy work disappears, literally, before the eyes of auction-goers

11 October 2018, 05:30 | Myron Mathis

Banksy planned the artwork’s self-destruction years ago More

Banksy planned the artwork’s self-destruction years ago More

Speculation is growing that Banksy, the world-famous guerrilla artist whose identity remains unknown, was sitting in the Sotheby's auction in London on Saturday.

The art world was left in shreds when Banksy's famous Girl with Balloon - one of the artist's most famous works depicting an image of a girl releasing a red balloon - self-destructed.

Banksy bragged about his latest stunt in a post on Instagram, where he wrote, "going, going, gone".

And the Sotheby's head of contemporary art moaned "we've just been Banksy'ed".

"Girl With Balloon", one of Banksy's most widely recognised works, shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon and was the final work sold at the auction on Friday night, the BBC reported.

The clip is captioned "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge" - a quote from 19th-century anarchist Mikhail Bakunin which Banksy attributes to Pablo Picasso.

There's no word on how the shredder started operating at the key moment after the auction, though it could have been activated by a remote mechanism. The sale price equalled the artist's previous auction record of about $1.35 million.

The dramatic moment prompted a slew of questions - especially since Banksy claims to have installed the machinery years ago.

While Banksy's stunt has been called a conceptual master stroke, pulling it off was no easy task.

He made that very clear in 2007, when he posted an image on his website of a packed auction room bidding on a framed painting of the words: "I can't believe you morons actually buy this shit".

Banksy's works have often commented on the ridiculous nature of the contemporary art world, and the increasingly high values of his own works.

The artwork was signed and dedicated and the vendor acquired it from the artist in 2006, the auction house said.

Initial concern for the unlucky new owner of the piece soon evaporated, as art experts tipped the half-destroyed work was probably now worth more.

"It's become worth more as a conceptual moment than as a work of art itself", Waterman told the Times.

In anonymous interviews, Banksy has cited Del Naja as an influence - and he is credited as being the first graffiti artist in Bristol.

Others said the stunt had increased the value of the work, while there were also theories over whether the buyer would be expected to go through with the purchase.

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