The whole world is discussing Banksy’s action: the artist has built a shredder in the frame of “Balloon Girl”, which cut the picture in piexwa after the sale at auction.
Banksy’s painting “Balloon Girl” was destroyed by a Schröder built into the frame at Sotheby’s auction immediately after the work of art was sold for $ 1.4 million.
“Balloon Girl”–one of the most famous works of the street artist. The instance put up for auction was created in 2006. “It seems that we have just been Banksy-ed,” said Sotheby’s senior director Alex Branczik after what happened. Banksy painting was the last lot, gone from the auction. The buyer has bid over the phone; his name is unknown. The identity of the seller auction house is also not disclosed.
Later, Banksy posted a video on Instagram, in which he said that he had mounted a shredder in the frame of the picture “a few years ago.” “In case it ever put up for auction,”–said in the video. The artist accompanied the video with the phrase: “The desire for destruction is also a creative motivation.” According to the BBC, Banksy attributed these words to Pablo Picasso, but in fact, they belong to the philosopher Mikhail Bakunin. Representatives of the auction house said they did not know about the shredder built into the frame and did not participate in the preparation of the action.
Art industry experts are confident that Sotheby’s could not have been unaware of Banksy’s plans–the picture and the author’s frame are carefully inspected before being auctioned. The art dealer Akoris Andipa, whose collection contains more than 400 works by Banksy, noticed several oddities both at the pre-auction viewing and during the auction itself. Andipa said that in watching “Balloon Girl,” the most important, in his opinion, Banksy’s work was posted “in the backyards of the gallery”. In addition, the picture was the last, 67th lot at auction. According to the art dealer, by this time many visitors leave the hall and go to the buffet.
Journalists also drew attention to the video in which Banksy said that he had embedded a shredder in his work several years ago. As follows from the Sotheby’s catalog, the picture has been with the past owner since 2006. In social networks, it is noted that the Schröder battery would have discharged during this time. At the same time, bidders reported a man who allegedly remotely activated the device from the hall.
Tabloid The Daily Mail is sure that Banksy was present at the auction. Publication journalists believe that the resident of Bristol, Robin Gunningham, is hiding under a pseudonym (according to other sources, Banksy is the founder of the Massive Attack group and the graffiti artist Robert Del Naya). The Daily Mail compared the photos of Gunningham with a video from the auction room, where you can see a man filming the destruction of the picture: the visitor of the auction resembles Robin remotely. Some suspect that it was a fake deal, and the seller and the buyer are one and the same person: Banksy, who decided to oppose the commercialization of art.
“It was a great PR move,” says art dealer Offer Watermann, specializing in 20th-century British art. He is sure that the action with the destruction of the picture will only raise its price. Watermann–one of the few representatives of the art industry, confident that Sotheby’s was not involved in the destruction of “Balloon Girl.”