Sotheby’s Gets Banksy’ed at Contemporary Art Auction in London

In a moment that caught the art world by surprise, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon self-destructed just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions in London. The work sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million).

Is this art performance or practical joke by artist? Or both?

£1M Banksy artwork shreds during auction at Sotheby in London


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Upload your art to the online Banksy Shredder.
    Lee Martin’s clever online Banksy Shredder is hosted as an editable codepen page and does exactly as you would expect.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Banksy’s Barely Believable Batteries

    [Banksy] is famous aside from his anonymity, for his pranks upon the art world. The (real) elephant in the room or the Dismalland theme park are his stock in trade, and you may have seen another prank of his in the news in the last day. One of his paintings, the 2006 Girl With A Balloon sold at auction for over a million quid, and as the gavel fell a hidden shredder in the picture frame sprang into life and partially shredded the canvas. The report suggests that a number of [Banksy]’s associates were present at the event, and that one of them was detained with a device that might have been a remote control trigger for the shredder. The quote from Sotheby’s Europe head of Contemporary Art, [Alex Branczik] says it all: “We got Banksy’d”.

    [Banksy]’s cool and all that, but where’s the hack? The artist briefly put up a video with a few details,

    This hasn’t stopped some fevered speculation as to how the feat was achieved. A home-made shredder would require a significant amount of readily available power, and since this one has seemingly lain undetected within the frame since 2006

    An artwork by Banksy shredded itself after selling for $1.3 million at Sotheby’s.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    So Banksy put a video on Instagram and deleted it almost immediately about the whole shredder in the painting.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EEVBlog #1131 – £1M Prank – Banksy Artwork Shredded! HOW?

    A look at how the Banksy artwork prank “Girl with a Balloon” shredded itself moments after being sold for £1M at a Sotheby’s auction.
    How long did it sit idle waiting to be triggered?, and was this actually possible?!-how/

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    WORKING Miniature BANKSY Self-Destruct Artwork Shred

    This is more fascinating than the actual painting itself

  6. Regan Rau says:

    Neat Web site, Maintain the useful job. Thank you so much.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Life Imitates Art: 3D Printed Banksy Frame “Shreds” Oeuvre, Prints Money

    [Dave Buchanan] is giving the world his own take on the now famous shredding Banksy frame. This version has a few extra features though – like reverse shredding and printing money!

    [David] took his inspiration straight to CAD software, and designed a miniature version of the frame. A quick trip to the 3D printer and he had the actual frame in hand. He even hand-painted his own copy of Girl with Balloon on canvas. Assembly didn’t quite go as planned, a few parts had to be adjusted — i.e. cut off and hot-glued together. But in the end, the hack worked

    Redesigned Banksy Frame


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