Sotheby’s gets Banksy’ed at contemporary art auction in London


“In a moment that caught the art world by surprise, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon self-destructed just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions in London,” Sotheby’s said in a press release this weekend. “The work sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million), tying the artist’s record in pounds at auction previously achieved in 2008.

“The framed work, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on board depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart shaped balloon – one of Banksy’s most iconic images – began to pass through a shredder hidden in the frame.

“‘It appears we just got Banksy-ed,’ said Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London. The unexpected incident became instant art world history and certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer.

“Led by Jenny Saville’s monumental work Propped, which established a new auction record for a living female artist, the evening of Contemporary Art auctions brought a combined total of £68.7 million. The 25 artworks offered from the collection of the late David Teiger, the visionary collector, patron and museum trustee, were 100% sold for an overall total of £35.9 million.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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