Shredded Banksy artwork sells for $25.4 million at auction

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‘Love is in the Bin’ was offered by Sotheby’s in London, with pre-sales estimates ranging from $5.5 million to $8.2 million.

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LONDON — A work by British street artist Banksy that was sensationally self-shred after being sold at auction three years ago fetched 18.5 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday – a record for the artist, and its pre- Around 20 times the cut price.

“Love is in the Bin” was offered by Sotheby’s in London, with estimates ranging from £4 million to £6 million ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).

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After a 10-minute bidding battle with nine bidders in the cellroom and more online and by phone, it sold for three times the high estimate.

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The piece consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame with a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.

When it was last sold at Sotheby’s in October 2018, the piece was known as “Girl with the Balloon.” Just as an unnamed European buyer made the winning bid for £1 million ($1.4 million) – a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy turned life, leaving half the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.

Sotheby’s received some criticism at the time for failing to find a hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was justified when the price of the work rose on Thursday.

The work quickly became one of Banksy’s most famous, and Sotheby’s shipped it on a tour of cities including New York and Hong Kong ahead of Thursday’s auction.

Alex Brazik. Sotheby’s President of Modern and Contemporary Art, called the shredding “one of the most ingenious moments of performance art of this century”.

“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 that the artist created,” Brzyk said. “Banks is no stranger to being in the limelight and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations around the world – we can only begin to speculate about what might happen next.”

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Banksy, who never confirmed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and became one of the world’s best-known artists. His mischievous and often satirical images include two male police officers kissing, riot cops armed with yellow smiley faces, and a chimpanzee with a sign saying, “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”

Many of his works have been sold at auction for crores. In March, a Banksy mural honoring UK health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold at a Christie’s auction for £16.8 million ($23.2 million), a mark for the artist as of Thursday. record.

“Girl with the Balloon” was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and reproduced endlessly, becoming one of Banksy’s most famous images.


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