Rachel Fieldhouse

Money & Banking

Banksy’s shredded work sells for 300 percent over estimated price

Banksy’s shredded work sells for 300 percent over estimated price

British street artist Banksy has reappeared in the headlines after his painting that shredded itself after it sold for $US 1.4 million ($AUD 1.9 million or $NZD 1.98 million)  has been sold again, this time for an even greater sum.

Love is in the Bin, formerly known as Girl With Balloon, was sold for $USD 25 million ($AUD 33.71 million or $NZD 35.37 million) at Sotheby’s in London.

With a pre-sale estimate of 4 to 6 million pounds ($AUD 7.4-11.0 million or $NZD 7.75-11.52 million), the work was sold for more than three times its estimated price.

The artwork consists of a half-shredded canvas depicting a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped balloon, with half of the piece still in one piece within an ornate gold frame.

Image: @Sotheby’s / Instagram

When the artwork was first sold at Sotheby’s in 2018, a shredder embedded in the frame started tearing it just as the winning bid was made.

Banksy later implied that the work was supposed to be turned entirely into scraps, but didn’t due to a malfunction.

Sotheby’s said the work created by the stunt is “the ultimate Banksy artwork”.

“It was a big moment because nothing like that had been done before,” art historian Matthew Israel told CNN in an earlier email interview.

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A post shared by Banksy (@banksy)

The self-destructing artwork was “entirely at odds with the aims of the auction house, where the condition of an artwork is paramount and the knowledge and expertise about it is core to its authority and value”, he explained.

The most recent auction took the artist’s record for the highest sale price, beating the sale of Game Changer last year.

That artwork sold for 16.7 million ($AUD 31 million or $NZD 32.47 million) to benefit UK hospitals, with the piece depicting healthcare workers as superheroes.

Though the identity of the new owner of Love is in the Bin has not been revealed, Sotheby’s described the person as a female collector from Europe with a long-standing history with the auction house.

The buyer can also choose to pay for the work in cryptocurrency.

Image: Getty Images

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