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Banksy’s ‘Director’s Cut’ of His $1.4M Art Getting Shredded at Auction


One of the biggest stories in the art world this year was street artist Banksy having his painting “self-destruct” just moments after the work sold for nearly $1.4 million at auction. Banksy just shared the 3-minute director’s cut above of the prank as it went down.

In the video, we see new footage of the “Girl with Balloon” artwork being auctioned off. Shortly after the hammer falls, someone in attendance presses a button on a remote, an alarm starts ringing out, and the art begins passing down through the hidden shredder in the bottom of the frame, stopping about halfway through.

A still frame from Banksy’s Director’s Cut.

Sotheby’s staff then quickly remove the frame from the wall and carry it away.

Banksy also reveals that the painting was supposed to be fully shredded, stating that “In rehearsals it worked every time.” In the actual prank, something went wrong and caused the painting to remain in the frame half-shredded.

A rehearsal showing what was supposed to happen. Still frames from Banksy’s Director’s Cut.

The glitch makes the new form of “Girl with Balloon” much easier to display on walls, and the art experts say the artwork, now renamed “Love Is in the Bin,” is now worth significantly more than the $1.4 million paid by the winner (who has decided to keep the piece).

Sotheby’s says the piece is “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether the publicity generated by this stunt results in any copycats — perhaps there’s a fine art photographer out there who’s now plotting a deconstructed print prank.