For Millennials. By Millennials.
Only a few weeks ago, art patrons were awed by Banksy’s dramatic antics at Sotheby’s.
One of his paintings, the ‘Girl With Balloon’, self-destructed after someone bought it. It was sold for more than $1.4 million at the auction too!
A hidden shredder in the painting’s frame tore the bottom half apart in front of a perplexed audience and left them perplexed. It was later more fittingly titled ‘Love Is In The Bin’ by the auction house.
Banksy – The Troll Of The Art World
Banksy has amassed a reputation over the years for being melodramatic in how he displays his work. After the ‘Girl With Balloon’ painting self-destructed, a “director’s cut” of the video went up on Banksy’s Youtube page two days after the stunt.
In the video Banksy revealed that he had originally planned for the ‘Girl With Balloon’ to be completely shredded by the frame. The fact that half of the painting survived was a malfunction. Banksy then wrote that all had gone according to his original plans during rehearsals and it was probably an accident that the artwork failed to be completely torn apart.
Sotheby’s claimed they didn’t know about Banksy’s stunt. Banksy himself later corroborated this. However, even though the ‘Girl With Balloon’ was partially destroyed after it was sold, the bidder decided to keep it.
The ‘Girl With Balloon’ has an all-new name now to match its notoriety in the art world. It has now been dubbed ‘Love Is In The Bin’. It is estimated that ‘Love Is In The Bin’ is even more valuable as a collector’s item now since the prank failed to go according to plan.
Analyzing The Director’s Cut Of The Footage
While the initial footage of the Sotheby’s auction of ‘Girl With Balloon’ shows the general chaos in the crowd after the painting began to self-destruct and stopped halfway through, the new video that Banksy posted on Youtube shows what should have happened instead.
The new video shows the entire painting to shred beyond repair as it collapses onto the floor. This can be looked as a statement of artistic value by Banksy.
The new, three-minute-long video depicts how the frame was built with a hidden shredder inside.It doesn’t, however, explain why it malfunctioned on the day of. While it is clear that the shredder came to a surprise halt, it isn’t clear exactly why it happened. There’s speculation that the batteries might have unexpectedly died or there might have been a paper jam.
The new video that has surfaced implies that the stunt was initiated via a hand-held device.
The footage also pokes fun at the art industry as scenes seemingly recording at a pre-sale event are also edited in and feature snippets of conversations. People exclaiming ‘Oh gracious!’ and being asked if they would like more champagne. We also see a man is commenting on the notoriety of the frame. And stating that Banksy likes the ‘romanticism’ of having a very ornate National Gallery-esque frame.
It is still unclear who was behind obtaining and recording the footage. Some scenes have been surreptitiously recorded. While the ones shot from inside the auction room seen to be recorded from a number of different angles. There’s speculation that maybe Banksy himself or one of his associates might have been present at the sale.
Sotheby’s still denies any involvement or prior knowledge of the stunt.
‘Love Is In The Bin’ Goes Home With Buyer
Nonetheless, the malfunction meant that the ‘Girl With Balloon’ failed to self-destruct completely. Luckily, the value of the painting did not decrease after the mishap. And the bidder gladly went on through with his purchase.
Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art, Alex Branczik, wrote that Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction but created one instead. He also wrote that despite Banksy’s surprise intervention, they are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly-titled ‘Love Is In The Bin’ – the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.
The anonymous buyer also feels similarly based on a quote given to Sotheby’s. The buyer claimed that when the hammer came down and the work was shredded, he was at first shocked. However, he gradually realized that he would end up with his own art history.
Things didn’t go as Banksy had initially planned. But at least something interesting has happened in the art world. Now average citizens are taking an avid interest in Banksy’s work. Banksy’s work and similar artwork show an exciting side of society through a critical lens, so that’s certainly good news!