As you likely saw this weekend, Sotheby’s auctioned off a Banksy painting called “Girl with the red Balloon” and as soon as the gavel hit the block, (confirming the $1.4m sale) the painting began self destructing via a shredder hidden in the frame. So what’s that mean now?
First of all, Sotheby’s didn’t know about it. Many cited the extensive prep process that an art work goes through before auction and that Sotheby’s couldn’t have missed a shredder embedded in a frame. That’s not true. Many artist consider the frame to be essential to the work and insist it not be tampered with. And apparently Banksy put those same restrictions on the auction house.
But consider this… Banksy started out as just a regular graffiti artist who tagged walls around London. As his work gained recognition it wasn’t at all out of the norm for property owners who got tagged to chisels the work right out of the concrete. His work is now plagiarized around the world. All a big departure for a street tuff from the UK.
So now imagine you just purchased the first piece in what the worlds most reclusive artist considers his return to his roots. His rebirth. Like Picasso entering his blue phase. Matisse’s first collage work. I say it was worth double it’s price the moment the shredder was activated.
For the record, Sotheby’s says it is working with the purchaser as to what to do next.