- The person who purchased Banksy’s “Girl With a Balloon” for $1.4 million is keeping it, even though it’s been shredded.
- Some analysts say the painting may now be even more valuable.
- Banksy gave the painting a new name: “Love Is in the Bin.”
- Sotheby’s maintains it didn’t know the painting would be shredded.
The winning bidder for “Girl With a Balloon,” the Banksy painting that dropped through a shredder hidden in its frame after being sold at auction for $1.4 million, is keeping the pieces.
The buyer remains anonymous, but The Guardian identified her as “a female European collector and a longstanding client of Sotheby’s.” She said she was initially shocked by Friday’s shredding stunt.
“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,” she told The Guardian.
After the painting turned to tatters, some analysts predicted the value had increased. Other works from Banksy have changed in value after being involved in conceptual artwork.
The artist’s authentication body, Pest Control, even gave this version of “Girl With a Balloon” a new name: “Love Is in the Bin.”
- REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe, told The Guardian that “Banksy has cleverly nestled himself in the pages of art history.”
“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one,” he said. “Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly titled ‘Love Is in the Bin,’ the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”
Sotheby’s plans to show “Love Is in the Bin” at its galleries in London on Saturday and Sunday. After that, it’ll be sent to its buyer.
A spokesperson for Sotheby’s told INSIDER that the auction house wasn’t aware of the shredder before it sold the painting, even though several experts suspect the whole thing was planned.
“It is increasingly common in the contemporary art world for artists to deem their frames integral to the artwork, as was the case in this instance,” Rosamund Chester, a representative for Sotheby’s, told INSIDER. “The certificate from the artist’s studio for the present work states that the frame is ‘integral to the piece.’ When Sotheby’s asked the studio about removing the work from its frame during the cataloging process, we were expressly told not to remove the frame.”