Winner of shredded Banksy says it’s a keeper

Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ self-destructs through a built-in shredder installed by the artist. Image courtesy of Banksy

LONDON (AP) – Sotheby’s says the winning bidder for a Banksy painting that self-destructed during an auction last week has decided to follow through with the purchase.

The auction house says a female European collector was the successful bidder who offered 1.04 million pounds for Girl With Balloon. Just after the hammer came down, and to the shock of those in the saleroom, the bottom half of the work passed through a shredder concealed in the frame.

Sotheby’s said Thursday the painting has been authenticated by Banksy’s Pest Control agency and retitled Love is in the Bin.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art for Europe, says it is “the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”

The buyer’s identity was not revealed, but Sotheby’s quoted her as saying: “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

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

Click to read more about Banksy’s auction surprise.

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