Banksy Painting ‘Self-Destructs’ Moments after Being Sold for $1.4 Million at Auction

Banksy Painting ‘Self-Destructs’ Moments after Being Sold for $1.4 Million at Auction

Banksy Painting ‘Self-Destructs’ Moments after Being Sold for $1.4 Million at Auction

The framed, stencil spray painting shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon and had been the final piece sold, equalling Banksy's previous auction record of £1.04 million.

Banksy himself apparently caught the entire thing on video as well.

The publication also reports the trademark piece was purchased by an anonymous bidder through a representative who was present at the event.

It is not known who the successful bidder is but Sotheby's said they are talking to them and that they were "surprised" by the weird stunt.

Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work.

Which is more artful: The painted work, preserved forever on canvas; or the carefully orchestrated act of destroying said canvas?

But after the head-turning display, commenters on social media surmised that the shredded Girl With Balloon will soar in value, once the shredded pieces are patched back together.

Branczik said the auction house is "in discussion" about the next steps with the buyer of the portrait.

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

Girl With Balloon had originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London. He called Banksy's prank "a turning point in the history of contemporary and conceptual art".

He continued to praise: "Yet again Banksy continues to surprise and delight with his latest and arguably his finest stunt in a long history of anti-establishment statements".

Briefly, Banksy posted a video clip of creating the frame on Instagram before deleting it again soon after.

The artwork "sold for over a million dollars and as we sat there...the painting started moving", he said. "We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context", he added.

The artist later posted a video showing him prepare the frame several years ago.

Branczik claimed that Sotheby's was "not in on the ruse".

Related news