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Banksy Strikes Again!

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On the 5th of October, ‘Art-prankster’ Banksy shredded a framed canvas at Sotheby’s London moments before the artwork sold for 1.4 million dollars.

Shredded Dreams

The ‘Girl With Balloon’ was an original stenciled painting on a wall in East London in 2002. It depicts a small girl reaching up towards a heart-shaped red balloon, and is one of Banksy’s best-known images. Due to its universal message of struggle, innocence and hope, many people reproduce the famous painting. The spray painting of the same imagery was recreated by Banksy on canvas in 2006. It was up for auction at Sotheby’s London on Friday.

The auction was held in Frieze Week, when collectors from around the world arrived in central London for the ‘Frieze Art Fair’. The ‘Girl With Balloon’ had just successfully sold for 1.4 million dollars (more than three times its pre-sale estimate and equaling a record price for the artist) when an alarm sounded in the auction room and the canvas began sliding down inside its frame. It emerged in strips at the bottom after remote-control mechanism on the back of the frame shredded it.

A post on Banksy’s Instagram showed the moment and the shocked reaction of the patrons, with the words “Going, going, gone…”

A day later on Saturday the 6th of October, Banksy revealed on his official Instagram account that he ‘secretly built a shredder into a painting years ago in case it was ever put up for auction’. Sotheby’s had noted before the sale that the work’s ornate gilded frame was ‘an integral element of the artwork chosen by Banksy himself’. The auction house expressed surprise at the incident. They said it was ‘in discussion about next steps’ with the buyer.

Who is Banksy

Banksy began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the best-known artists in the world. He has a knack for elaborate pranks. No one has figured out his identity.

The famous artist creates mischievous and satirical images such as two policemen kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces. There’s also a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”

Banksy Inspired By Picasso In Latest Stunt

In an Instagram post after the event, Banksy quoted Picasso stating that,

‘The urge to destroy is also a creative urge’.

The anonymous British graffiti artist revealed that he had Picasso in mind when he pulled off the most memorable prank the art world has seen in years.

Indeed, Picasso was right – creation and destruction are intertwined; and some things need to be completely undone to be fully appreciated and recognized.

Publicity and Self-promotion

It’s not shocking to know that Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ will be worth more in its shredded state than in its original state. Banksy’s stunts usually create an uproar among the masses. With tongues wagging after his latest spectacle, he has successfully achieved that and proven his knack for ingenuity.

Where will Banksy strike next?!
Only time will tell.

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