Banksy painting self-shreds after selling at auction for $1.4 million

Banksy painting self-shreds after selling at auction for $1.4 million

Banksy painting self-shreds after selling at auction for $1.4 million

Sotheby's has confirmed the £1.042-million (US$1.4 million) sale of the self-shredded Banksy painting, Girl With Balloon, amid speculation that the buyer might back out given that the painting was "destroyed" at the end of last Friday's auction in London.

Sotheby's said Thursday the painting has been retitled Love is in the Bin and authenticated by Banksy's Pest Control agency.

It's official: Banksy's "Girl With Balloon" is now a new piece of performative art.

On instagram, the anti-establishment graffiti artist, posted a picture of the the 2006 piece dangling in pieces from the bottom of the frame, with the caption "Going, going, gone.".

There have been questions whether - and to what extent - Banksy may have collaborated with the auction house to pull off the elaborate stunt, which is an anti-capitalist critique of the art market.

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Just after the painting was sold on October 5 for $1.37 million, an alarm sounded and then the canvas began sliding through the bottom of the frame, emerging in shreds as those in attendance watched in disbelief. The art world was in shock at the never-before-seen stunt, and experts soon began speculating that the piece was perhaps worth even more in its destroyed state.

But the freaky turn seemed to have only bolstered the piece's legacy - and value - with Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe, dubbing it "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".

Other Banksy works are due to go under the hammer and auctioneers have said they can't guarantee the items will "shred or explode".

People watch as the spray-painted canvas "Girl with Balloon" by the artist Banksy self-destructs at Sotheby's, in London Oct. 5, 2018.

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