Banksy strikes again


By Su Fen Tan

Banksy strikes again

No stranger to controversy, Banksy latest stunt made headlines all over the world when his famous ‘Girl with Balloon’ painting shredded itself after it was sold for £1.042m at a Sotheby’s auction. The artist later put up a video on Instagram showing how he built a shredder into the painting, “in case it was ever put up for auction”.


It is unclear who activated the shredder, or how it was done, prompting suspicions that Banksy was either there in person, or had an assistant there to do it.


As for the message behind the shocking moment, it seems to be Banksy’s show of defiance against capitalism. However, some have pointed out that the artwork value could now double in price after the stunt, citing it as capitalism in its most deceptive form by selling itself as anti-capitalism.


Another question that remains to be answered is: what happens to the painting now? Turns out, Sotheby’s is just as taken aback by the incident. At the moment, the auction house is discussing the situation with the anonymous buyer, who made the successful bid by phone. “It appears we just got Banksy-ed”, Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe, told Financial Times. “We have not experienced this situation in the past… where a painting spontaneously shredded upon achieving a [near-]record for the artist. We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context.”


We’ll just have to wait and see what’ll come next in this unprecedented series of events.

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