Banksy’s Shredding Artwork at Auction for $25.4 Million at Sotheby’s

In this handout photo provided by Sotheby's Auction House, the auction for Banksy's "Love is the Bin" takes place in London, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally self-shredded just after it sold for $1.4 million has sold again for $25.4 million at an auction on Thursday. “Love is in the Bin” was offered by Sotheby’s in London, with a presale estimate of $5.5 million to $8.2 million. (Sotheby's Auction House via AP)

The work by British street artist Banksy, which sensationally self-destructed immediately after selling for $ 1.4 million, was again auctioned for $ 25.4 million.

The Banksy painting, which sensationally self-destructed immediately after being auctioned three years ago, has been sold again. This time, the price was almost £ 18.6 million ($ 25.4 million). This is a record for an artist and almost 20 times its pre-shredded price.

Banksy shredded art” Love in a Bin” was offered at Sotheby’s in London with a preliminary estimate of 4 to 6 million pounds (5.5 to 8.2 million dollars). After a 10-minute bidding war involving nine bidders on the sales floor, online and over the phone, he sold to an unknown buyer for three times the high estimate.

Banksy shredded art sale price of £ 18,582,000 (US $ 25,383,941) includes an auction house commission, known as the buyer’s premium.

The Banksy painting is a half-torn canvas in an ornate frame depicting a girl reaching for a red heart-shaped balloon.

When the Banksy painting was last sold at Sotheby’s in October 2018, it was called Girl with a Balloon. Once an anonymous European buyer placed the winning bid of £ 1 million ($ 1.4 million), a hidden shredder built into Banksy’s painting frame came to life and left half of the canvas hanging from the frame in stripes.

At the time, Sotheby’s came under some criticism for failing to locate the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to complete the purchase. And time has shown that this decision was correct. The Banksy painting quickly became one of his most famous works.  Sotheby’s took it on a tour of cities including New York and Hong Kong ahead of Thursday’s auction.

Auctioneer Oliver Barker joked that he was afraid to bring down the hammer to complete the auction. Sotheby’s employees were nervous until the last that Banksy had planned another surprise. Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s chairman of the board of directors for contemporary art called it the shredding “one of the most brilliant performance moments of this century.”

“It was a whirlwind – to follow the path of this legendary Banksy painting and see it again among us, offering it tonight in the very room in which it was created by the artist,” said Branczik. He also added that Banksy is no stranger to the headlines, and this final chapter of his story has captured the world’s imagination. The public can only guess what might happen next. Banksy never confirmed his identity. He began his career painting buildings in Bristol, England, and became one of the most famous painters in the world.

Banksy mural in honor of British medical workers

His mischievous and often satirical depictions include two male cops kissing, an armed cop with yellow smiling faces, and a chimpanzee holding a sign that reads, “Laugh now, but one day I’ll rule.”

Banksy`s Kissing Policemen

Some of the Banksy paintings have been auctioned for several million. In March, a Banksy mural in honor of British medical workers, first painted on a hospital wall, was auctioned by Christie’s for £ 16.8 million ($ 23.2 million).

The Girl with the Balloon was originally stenciled on a wall in East London and has been reproduced many times, becoming one of Banksy’s most famous images.


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