Buyer goes ahead with purchase of shredded Banksy painting
LONDON (Reuters) – The woman who bid more than 1 million pounds for a painting by the mysterious British artist Banksy which shred itself into pieces at the moment of the sale has gone ahead with the purchase, auction house Sothebys said on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: An employee walks with Banksy's "Girl and Balloon" 2009, at Bonhams auction house in London March 23, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo
Onlookers gasped and laughed after the bottom half of “Girl with Balloon”, one of Banksys best-known works, was sucked into a shredder hidden in its frame as the hammer fell last Friday after a bid of 1,042,000 pounds ($1.38 million) – matching Banksys all-time record.
“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” the buyer, an unnamed female European collector, said according to Sothebys.
The auction house said the artwork had been granted a certificate by Banksys authentication body and has given a new title, “Love is in the Bin”.
“Banksy didnt destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one,” said Alex Branczik, Sothebys Head of Contemporary Art, Europe.
Banksy himself posted an Instagram picture of shocked attendees watching the painting disintegrate last week, with the caption: “Going, going, gone…”
The artist, whose real identity is unknown, is known for sharply ironic outdoor graffiti with political themes, including at Israels barrier at the West Bank and Disneyland where he painted a life-size figure of a Guantanamo Bay detainee.
Once a small-time graffiti artist from the English city of Bristol, Banksys work has become hugely valuable.
($1 = 0.7558 pounds)
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Toby Chopra
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