We may never know what the eternally anonymous Banksy intended with his latest stunt, in which his 2006 painting Girl With Balloon was shredded the instant it was sold at Sotheby’s for $1.4 million. Was the incident, which occurred last week, a success or a failure? Did he punk the art world by partially destroying his piece, or did the prank backfire when the piece possibly became more valuable after being partially destroyed? Well, here’s another twist in the story: As per The Guardian, the collector who purchased it? She’s keeping it.
The art world was stunned on October 5, when Banksy’s classic piece — which depicts a little girl drawn in stencil reaching out for a red balloon well out of reach, whose likeness was first displayed on a wall in the South Bank of London — was cut to ribbons. It was all thanks to a secret shredder built into the frame, as revealed by the artist in a video released by Banksy after the incident.
Thing is, the shredder appeared to jam, destroying only half of it. At that point, technicians at the auction house removed the damaged piece, its tendrils drooping out of the frame. They didn’t want to destroy it any further.
Since then, the piece, as is, has simply been re-named. The new title is Love Is in the Bin, as officially christened by Banksy’s authentication body, Pest Control.