Street artist Banksy has posted a new video about the shredding of his famous Girl With Balloon painting, implying that it was supposed to have been completely destroyed in the stunt.
Onlookers at a Sotheby’s auction earlier this month were left gobsmacked when, just moments after selling to a European collector for more than £1m, the famous artwork “self-destructed”, with the bottom half reduced to strips dangling from the bottom of the frame.
In a new video, entitled Shred The Love, The Director’s Cut, Banksy has revealed that he carried out rehearsals for the headline-grabbing prank, and that in practice runs the secret shredder hidden inside the painting’s Victorian-style frame had “worked every time”.
Footage of a test run shows a Girl With Balloon print passing through the shredder in full, with none of the canvas remaining intact.
Posting on Instagram, the anonymous artist said: “Some people think it didn’t really shred. It did. Some people think the auction house were in on it, they weren’t.”
The new three-minute-long video – the second to be released by the artist giving details on the stunt – shows a hooded figure constructing the shredder in a workshop.
It then cuts to the now world-famous auction, where a pair of hands presses a button in a black box to set off the destruction as soon as the hammer goes down.
The new half-shredded artwork has been renamed Love Is In The Bin after being granted certification by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body.
Sotheby’s has confirmed that the buyer, a long-standing female client, still wants to take the work for the agreed price.
Depicting a girl reaching towards a bright red heart-shaped balloon, the spray paint and acrylic on canvas Girl With Balloon is one of Banksy’s best-known images.
The artwork was signed and dedicated and the vendor acquired it from the artist in 2006, the auction house said.
Following the stunt, Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director, said: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”
The lot had been estimated to sell for £200,000 to £300,000 before the auction.
Some experts believe the prank has increased the value of the artwork.
Love Is In The Bin is the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist, who rose to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces across the country.
Other recent works included the opening of Dismaland, his dystopian, Disneyland-esque theme park in 2015, which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.
(c) Sky News 2018: Banksy reveals he meant to shred entire £1m Girl With Balloon painting