“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London. Imagine winning your bid at auction to pay $1.4 Million (£1,042,000) for a piece of artwork and as the hammer drops, the piece shreds right in front of everyone’s eyes. That happened at Sotheby’s London Friday evening and this might be the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after being won at auction. This record price tied the artist’s record in pounds at auction previously achieved in 2008.
Elusive artist Banksy’s iconic “Balloon Girl” was part of Sotheby’s London’s evening of Contemporary Art auctions with works of art from the collection of the late David Teiger. As the piece was sold to a buyer over the phone, it shredded itself. Plot twist, Banksy made it like so in the event it was auctioned off. Banksy posted, then quickly deleted, a video online showing how he built a device into his most iconic painting, saying “A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting in case it was ever put up for auction.”
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Did Sotheby’s know about the secret shredder? Now reports are saying the piece has now doubled its worth, shredded state and all.
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