A BANKSY artwork famous for “shearing itself” has sold for a record £18.5 million at a previous auction.
Love Is in the Bin went under the hammer again today at Sotheby’s in London – selling well in excess of its £4-6 million guide price.
The original piece was titled Girl with Balloon and sold for £1 million in 2018.
But the painting partially self-destructs moments after it is sold, becoming one of the anonymous artist’s most famous stunts.
The canvas was passed through a secret shredder hidden inside the large frame, leaving the bottom half torn off and only a lone red balloon on a white background in the frame.
The hammer on the painting fell £16 million yesterday, but the price rose to £18,582,000 after adding Sotheby’s fees.
The anonymous buyer placed the piece at a 2018 auction, which means they have made a very good profit of around £15 million.
Sotheby’s said that a “decomposed, remote controlled shredding mechanism” was still in the frame.
After closing bids today, auctioneer Oliver Barker joked that he was relieved that the artwork was “still there.”
He also said that the painting became an “unexpected piece of performance art” when it was pieced together in the same auction room after being sold to a “private European investor” three years earlier.
Concluding the £16 million bid, Mr Barker said: “On £16 million ladies and gentlemen we are selling to Banksy at Sotheby’s.
“You were here for this wonderful moment.”
Then he laughed from across the room and said: “I can’t tell you how scared I am to bring this hammer down.”
The Girl with the Balloon, which depicts a small child moving toward a red heart-shaped balloon, was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been reproduced endlessly, by Banksy. One of the most famous images of
Alex Brnzik, President of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Asia, said: “It’s been nearly three years since one of the most ingenious moments in the performing arts of this century made auction history.
“It has now been a whirlwind to follow the journey of this legendary masterpiece and bring it back among us, presenting it tonight in the same room the artist created.
“Banksey is no stranger to being in the limelight and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations around the world – we can only guess what might happen next.”