Banky's secret shredder stunt will only raise prices for his work

Irene MckinneyOct 12, 2018

A video shows auction-goers shocked at what they saw, with cell phones out as they saw the half-shredded painting being taken down to be given to the winning bidder. Banksy also released a video of the stunt with a caption that he attributed to Pablo Picasso that read: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge".

The auction house noted that the frame was a selling point for the work of art.

The price paid in London Friday evening for "Girl with Balloon" matched the artist's previous record at a 2008 auction for another work, Sotheby's said. Some art-market watchers say the work could be worth even more in its shredded state.

The iconic Banksy painting that self-destructed at auction last week has been authenticated by Pest Control, the elusive street artist's authentication body.

Value of the art may have doubled As the shredding was an intentional decision by Banksy, the shredded print may be worth twice what it sold for.

WHILE a packed room full of art lovers watched the bidding climb for the coveted piece Girl With Balloon, it seems its famed but mysterious artist was watching on too. John Brandler, director of Brandler Art Galleries has described Banksy as "the ultimate publicity artist" and said the stunt was "absolutely brilliant".

The buyer of a Banksy artwork partially shredded moments after the auction finished will go through with the sale. It used spray paint and acrylic on canvas and was mounted on a board. Its stencil has been repeated in an edition of 150 prints and 25 numbered paintings by Banksy. But when the Dismaland website crashed in response to high ticket demand, the disappointment lived up to the "bemusement" park's name when people were convinced it was all part of his art.

Ron English, the New York-based street artist whose surreal work frequently comments on capitalism, said that Banksy's antagonism toward his own work is like "Duchamp on steroids".

Either way, it is not the first time Banksy has flipped notions of value on their head.

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