In case you missed it, someone paid £1 million this week for a famous Banksy artwork that subsequently destroyed itself. Moments after the buyer’s bid was accepted, the famous Girl With Balloon painting was shredded through a device that the artist had previously installed in the frame. And the auction house, Sotheby’s—who maintain that they had nothing to do with any of this—seemed to find the whole thing very awkward.
“We are going to move on,” the auctioneer announced to the crowded saleroom as technicians took the ravaged picture off the wall and ushered it out of sight.
Then a bunch of people said that the whole event might have actually made the piece even more valuable—because art—other collectors started talking about shredding their own Banksy’s, and a bunch of random brands tried to cash in on the fad while the buyer remained deafeningly silent on how they felt about all this. Now, the woman who placed the winning bet has confirmed that she will go ahead with the £1.04 million purchase of the deconstructed artwork, which has officially been renamed Love Is in the Bin and granted a certificate by Banksy’s authentication body Pest Control, The Guardian reports.
“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” said the buyer, a female European collector, on Thursday. It is understood that the piece will be delivered to her after a brief showing at Sotheby’s London galleries on 13 and 14 October.
Sotheby’s is now boasting that the historic new work “was created in our salesroom”, Fairfax reports. Alex Branczik, the art dealer’s head of contemporary art, Europe, said: “Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one. Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly titled Love Is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”