Banksy explains how his Sotheby’s auction shredding stunt went wrong
Banksy has released new footage to explain how his Sotheby’s auction shredding stunt went wrong.
The elaborate prank by the guerrilla graffiti artist shocked the art auction house when his most famed piece self-destructed after being sold for an eye-watering amount of money.
The stencil spray painting, of Banksy’s best-known work ‘Girl With Balloon’, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London and sold for £1million. However, almost instantly after it was sold, the framed work began to shred itself in front of the crowd.
However, part of the work remained within the frame and did not completely shred: “In rehearsals it worked every time…,” Bansky has now said. It is believed that the work has now doubled in valuation and that could be down to the fact the piece remained together.
Part of the video also shows Oliver Barker, the auctioneer, whose terrified reaction is caught on camera as the work begins to self destruct.
Barker has since explained that Banksy made it explicitly clear that the frame was an integral part of the work “and that’s part of the joke,” the auctioneer said before denying that the auction house were at all involved in the stunt.
“The accusation that we were somehow negligent in the way this was catalogued does not stand up. We did everything,” he added.”Going forward, are we going to question a frame like this? Absolutely.”
A Sotheby’s spokesman said: “The new narrative is that Banksy did not destroy a work on its premises, he created one, adding value not detracting.
“It is a different work to the one that appeared in the catalogue, but nonetheless it is an intentional work of art, not a destroyed painting.”