A Banksy piece that self-destructed during a 2018 Sotheby’s auction in London is going back on the block, in all its disheveled and deliberately destroyed glory. “Girl with a Balloon” (2006) made headlines when a shredder embedded in its frame automatically started slicing the painting into strips as soon as the hammer went down at a bid of £953,829 (~$1,251,423).
Right up there with Maurizio Cattelan’s “Banana” in Hyperallergic’s internal archive of tacky art world gimmicks, the incident prompted days of insufferable, boring, and useless questions, like “is it more valuable now?” (An irony, since Banksy admitted to orchestrating the whole thing as a prank on the high-end art market.) In keeping with auction houses’ tendency of inventing and claiming to break inane records no one previously cared about, Sotheby’s boasted the sale as “the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself.”
Other versions of the work, which features the anonymous artist’s iconic “Girl and Balloon” imagery stenciled on his street murals, have fetched various sums at auction over the years, but the famously half-grated canvas may top the ranks. Now titled “Love is in the Bin,” the piece will be offered by Sotheby’s in London on October 14 and carries a pre-sale estimate of £4-6 million (~$5.5-8.3 million.) Here’s to hoping the piece self-destructs again and the cycle continues, until millionaires are paying fortunes for a pile of shredded fabric.
This week, reproductive rights in Texas, Hurricane Ida devastates New Orleans, deadly floods, and an alienated epidemiologist.
Louisiana Artists Mobilize to Help Hurricane Ida Victims
With official authorities overwhelmed and underfunded, locals have mobilized a robust relief response, among them members of the state’s thriving arts community.
This seminar and workshop series focusing on the crucial role of indigenous practices will cover decolonial methodologies and research that challenges land extraction and exploitation.
From collaborative grants to open calls and experimental residencies, a list of opportunities that artists, writers, and art workers can apply for this month.
The Los Angeles-based artist gets his first major US museum show after working on the cultural fringes for decades.
No one encompasses that soulless supersizing of pop culture as clearly as Kaws.
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