Funny bloke, that Banksy, ain’t he? Likes to pull a silly gag now and again, that’s for sure. And his latest was no different - his iconic painting ‘Girl With Balloon’ was sold at Sotheby’s auction house on Friday, for a whopping £1,042,000.
That’s newsworthy on its own, but what happened next was what really mattered - immediately after being sold it self-shredded in front of the crowd at the event. Look at these priceless faces:
Very funny, that, if you ask us. Would have loved to see the face on whoever bought it - they must’ve dropped a couple of pounds on the spot. But then again, those pounds will have swiftly been returned because it looks like the half-destroyed painting is now worth twice as much. Yep, twice as much as a million goddamn quid.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European Head of Contemporary Art, said:
“You know what, I’ll be quite honest. We have not experienced this situation the past… where a painting spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a record for the artist. We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context.”
Regardless of this confusing situation, it’s probably good news for the buyer - Joey Syer, co-founder of www.MyArtBroker.com said:
“Girl with Balloon is one of the most iconic images of recent times.
“It’s seen some of the sharpest price increases over previous years with signed / unsigned prints and canvass showing an average of +20% yoy. Prices now are regularly exceeding £115,000 for signed authenticated prints.
“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+.”
Ridiculous. Brilliant, but ridiculous. Here’s how he did it, in case you want to do it with your CV at your next job interview or something:
As to the identity of the man, that’s still a mystery, although the leading theory is that it’s Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack (more info here), mainly because DJ legend Goldie basically let it slip on the Distraction Pieces podcast. Have a listen to the sound of someone suddenly realising they’ve made the worst mistake of their life:
That is the sound of panic distilled to its purest form.
Erm, JAZZ MUSIC!