Banksy Canvas Shredded @ Sotheby's Auction in London
Frieze week in London once again brought the crème de la crème of the art world to the UK's capital, hosting a series of major art events, one of them being tonight's Contemporary Art Evening Auction @ Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries. And just when everyone thought that Jenny Saville’s monumental self-portrait selling for £9,537,250 and breaking the auction record for a living female artist was gonna be the talk of the night, Banksy, once again, stole the show.
There was a lot of buzz around the last lot of the auction - Banksy's Girl With Balloon. Done with spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on board, signed and dedicated on the reverse, and framed in a thick ornament artist's frame, the piece was said to be the best version of one of the most iconic images by the artist, so the world was watching how far the auction would go. And it went far. Selling for 1,042,000 GBP (1,357,726 USD including premiums), it was a grandiose ending to a successful week when the most bizarre thing happened.
According to the people in the room, just as the hammer fell down confirming the sale, the painting started shredding itself through the thick frame. The alarms went off, the staff took away the painting, and we're yet to learn what actually happened there tonight.
But no matter the outcome, Banksy once again managed to steal the show, one of the world's biggest art shows to be precise, taking his classic satirical critique I Can't Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit one step further. —Sasha Bogojev
Photos by @iknowaguy.gallery @casterlinegoodmangallery @jonathancheung92