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'We just got Banksy-ed': balloon girl painting self-destructs at sale

'We just got Banksy-ed': balloon girl painting self-destructs at sale”

For an artist who's known for his stunts, this could be Banksy's most ideal art world prank.

A work by the elusive street artist self-destructed in front of startled auction-goers on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 moments after being sold for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million). The spray-painted and acrylic piece depicted a little girl extending her arm out for a heart-shaped balloon, floating far beyond reach.

The anonymous art world prankster posted "Going, going, gone." with an image of the bewildered people surrounding the work on Instagram shortly after the incident took place.

Alex Branczik is Sotheby's head of contemporary art, Europe, who is quoted by The Art Newspaper as saying "It appears we just got Banksy-ed", after the painting was destroyed.

Banksy is also theorised to not be one person - but rather a collective of artists working around Britain.

It then shows a hooded figure placing the shredder into a wooden frame, before showing images of the Sotheby's auction of Balloon Girl - and the spray painting's self-destruction.

The auction record for a living male artist is US$58.4 million for a Jeff Koons sculpture. In 2006 Banksy is known to have visited the wall, and this painting is amongst others that appeared on the wall as a sign of protest, resistance, and of course hope.

That's exactly why artist Banksy is making headlines.

Could this be Banksy filming his own stunt?

The influential painter pulled off one of the greatest pranks in the history of fine art. "I think the auction house knew it was going to happen". Banksy also released a video of the stunt with a caption that he attributed to Pablo Picasso that read: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge".

By the year 2000, Banksy had adopted his now-signature style of stencilling and his works became widely known in Bristol and London. Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public.

The auction house said it would be discussing next steps with the buyer over the coming days, but some experts say the stunt would cause the shredded work of art to increase in value. English cited Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased De Kooning Drawing" - where the artist bought and obliterated the work of a peer - as somewhat of a precedent for Banksy's actions.



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