What’s the best thing to do with art by a secretive street artist who asks permission before creating his projects, and requests only that the work not be sold? Sell it, of course! Such as Girl With Red Balloon by Banksy, which was sold for over one million pounds sterling at Southeby’s on Friday.
What’s the best thing for a secretive street artist to do with the painting which had been sold? Shred it, apparently. Which is what happened moments after the painting was sold at Southeby’s on Friday.
Two videos… the first, showing the event courtesy of the BBC. The second, showing how it was done, courtesy of the Guardian.
One might think that significant damage to the painting would devalue it. This is the art world, though, and this is now not simply an iconic modern painting but the source of a piece of art world legend.
Joey Syer, co-founder of myartbroker.com, opined on the situation:
“The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.02m they paid last night, this is now part of Art History in its shredded state and we’d estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to it’s value, possibly as high as being worth £2m+.”Evening Standard
Banksy himself is probably mildly displeased that the shredding was incomplete. He reported immediately after the sale, on his Instagram account, “Going, going, gone.”
Question of the night: What’s your favorite item to have won in an auction?