Owner Of Banksy Copy Shreds Artwork Thinking Value Would Double

Owner Of Banksy Copy Shreds Artwork Thinking Value Would Double

Owner Of Banksy Copy Shreds Artwork Thinking Value Would Double

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 spray-painted and acrylic piece depicted a little girl extending her arm out for a heart-shaped balloon, floating far beyond reach.

Banksy himself posted an Instagram picture of shocked attendees watching the painting disintegrate, with the caption: "Going, going, gone".

"You could argue that the work is now more valuable", said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art, Europe.

"Girl with Balloon" had just sold at Sotheby's Friday for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million, 1.2 million euros) - a joint record for the maverick artist - when it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.

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"The post was captioned: "'The urge to destroy is also a creative urge' - Picasso".

It's perhaps surprising that no alarm bells began ringing among the observers when the piece sold for the exact same sum as Banksy's previous auction record, set in 2008.

Sotheby's European chairman and the auctioneer at the time of the incident, Oliver Barker, told the ABC that this was a "brilliant Banksy moment".

The anonymous street artist is known for his satirical street art - characterised by its dark humour and political activism.

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The shredding was equivalent to Banksy's vandalism in painting graffiti on the walls of buildings without the owners' permission.

It was instantly recognisable as a Banksy to anyone familiar with his work. The video then cuts to a final annotation, "In case it was ever put up for auction".

A famous Banksy painting self-destructing at an auction left art lovers around the world stunned.

AUCTION HOUSE: Sotheby's in London auctioned the artwork shredded by Banksy recently. He called Banksy's prank "a turning point in the history of contemporary and conceptual art".

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While Banksy's stunt involved destroying the classic artwork using a remote device, this person reportedly took a stanley knife to the expensive piece - which is apparently one of just 600 mint condition prints in the world. English cited Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased De Kooning Drawing" - where the artist bought and obliterated the work of a peer - as somewhat of a precedent for Banksy's actions.

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