POSTED BY: Veronica Dooley

We just got Banksy-ed

24th Oct, 2018

We just got Banksy-ed

Girl with Ballon

Earlier this month, Banksy made headlines around the world when his painting, ‘Girl with Balloon’, was sold in Sotheby’s auction house. The value of the artwork reached more than three times its pre-sale estimate during the auction, equaling a record price for the artist. The next thing that happened went viral around the world. As soon as the auctioneer cried out “going, going, gone…” the gavel dropped confirming the sale, an alarm suddenly began to sound and the painting started to shred itself to pieces. A remotely activated shredder, which had been concealed in the framework, turned the bottom half of the painting into ribbons. News reports later showed two people taking the partially shredded painting away, bits of the image dangling from the bottom of the frame in strips.

What perhaps started out as a stunt has now become a famous piece of performative art, cementing its place in art history. A statement on Sotheby’s website was issued stating “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.” After the event the questions began – would the sale remain valid? Would the bidder still have to pay over a million pounds for a painting that self-destructed? Would the painting actually be worth more in its shredded state due to worldwide coverage of the event?

Love is in the Bin

As it turns out, the artwork is indeed now likely to have doubled in price with the value now standing at a possible 2 million pounds. So, it’s no surprise that the bidder has decided to hold on to the altered work which has now been renamed ‘Love is in the Bin’.

“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked,” she said in a statement. “But gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

The Urge to Destroy

So what was Banksy trying to achieve? Was he giving two fingers back to the art world that keeps his bank balance so nicely topped up? The artist soon addressed the affair himself, posting an Instagram video of him installing a shredder into the frame of the work in 2006 with the caption “’The urge to destroy is also a creative urge’ – Picasso.” But the question remains – if this was a statement from the elusive artist against the ‘elite’ of the art world and the idea was for the painting to self-destruct, why did the shredder stop halfway? People have been accusing Banksy of being part of the machine that he rallies against.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – unless it’s a shredded Banksy, which it turns out is worth around £2m.

Check out some of my favourite creative responses inspired by Banksy’s antics.


Veronica is our resident artist and brings her undeniable flair for the creative into her role as Client Services Manager. She’s always on hand to guide you through all the aspects of your project right through to the final stages. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll find her getting creative in her own private studio, working away on everything from paintings to printmaking and drawing.