Buyer goes ahead with $1.4M purchase of shredded Banksy artwork

Banksy'Girl With Balloon Painting Worth Double After Self Destructing at AuctionMore

Banksy'Girl With Balloon Painting Worth Double After Self Destructing at AuctionMore

The winning bidder for a Banksy painting that self-destructed during an auction last week has chose to go through with the purchase, auctioneer Sotheby's said Thursday.

This new name has been certified by Pest Control, the artist's authentication body, suggesting that the enfant bad of the art world has a keen interest in retaining control of his work.

The mysterious artist has since authenticated the painting's scraps and renamed it Love Is In The Bin. "The idea of him colluding with an institution to pull off a stunt is the complete antithesis to his philosophy", Steve Lazarides, Banksy's former gallerist said, cited by the publicly listed auction house in the release.

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

The artwork selfdestructed moments after being sold at auction for ₤1.04 million ($A1.96 million), in a prank apparently orchestrated by the elusive street artist. 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.

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.

Because it is only partially shredded, "it becomes something else, egged on by the social media buzz" and acquires the aura of "an iconic work of art", he said.

"Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one", said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's Head of Contemporary Art, Europe.

The anonymous buyer, who the auction house described as a "longstanding client" and "female European collector", said the work marks a "seminal event", according to the Los Angeles Times.

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