Banksy shocks art world by shredding £1 mn work at auction
2018-10-08 13:45:00

Banksy's painting "Girl with Red Balloon" is seen shredded after its sale at Sotheby auction in London, Britain October 5, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media on October 6, 2018./VCG Photo

British street artist Banksy has stunned the art world with arguably his most audacious prank yet, self-destructing one of his best-known works moments after it fetched more than a million pounds at an auction in London.

"Girl with Balloon" had just sold at Sotheby's Friday for 1,042,000 pounds (1.4 million US dollars, 1.2 million euros), a joint record for the maverick artist -- when it unexpectedly passed through a shredder hidden in the frame.

Banksy posted a video Saturday on his Instagram page accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge" showing the stunt unfolding and how he pulled it off.

"A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting, in case it was ever put up for auction," read captions displayed over footage of a man crafting the device into a faux-gilt frame.

The video later shows scenes from Sotheby's, where onlookers were left aghast as an alarm sounded and most of the painting dropped down through the frame and was left shredded.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe, in a press release.

"The unexpected incident became instant art-world folklore and certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer," the auctioneers added in the statement.

Earlier Saturday, Banksy had posted a photo of the shredded work with a caption, imitating an auctioneer, that read: "going, going, gone".

Source: jschina.com.cn Editor: Hiram