The iconic Banksy painting self-destructed moments after it was purchased at a live-auction. He was nowhere in sight when it occurred.
You may find Banksy's antics less exciting now that he's probably destined to the fate of an elderly provocateur, and on your on end, you'd like to see yourself out of the room. But for those who are still interested in debunking Banksy, or admiring them from afar, the popular street artist has done something new to push the conversation of his work forward.
Friday evening, Banksy's iconic "Girl with a balloon" painting sold for $1.2 million at a Sotheby's auction. The vendors had no inclination as to what would transpire shortly thereafter. With the bidding thereby closing at $1.2 million, the canvas which was suspended into view then suddenly descended into a shredding machine. The internal mechanism, allegedly installed by Banksy themselves helped cut the canvas into numerous strips, rendering it useless to the bidding process, or the auction house whose insurance it had granted.
The Financial Times reports that the vendor who optioned the painting off to Sotheby's, says it purchased directly from Banksy. Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European director of contemporary art, offered perhaps the most succinct summary of what transpired last night in saying, "It appears we just got Banksy-ed." The self-destruction mechanism is eerily familiar to American connoisseurs who may recall the strange murder plot of Brian Wells, the pizza delivery guy that was killed by a self-locking explosive was harnessed on his neck.