Buyer to keep shredded Banksy painting

LONDON • Far from being torn up over the incident, the buyer of a work by street artist Banksy - that was partially shredded moments after it was sold - has gone through with the purchase.

The painting Girl With Balloon was passed through a shredder hidden in the frame just after it went under the hammer last week for £1.04 million (S$1.89 million).

The modified version has now been certified by Banksy's authentication body Pest Control as a new piece of work in its own right, titled Love Is In The Bin.

The unnamed buyer, described as a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby's auction house, has proceeded with the transaction.

"Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one," said Mr Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe.

"Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale... the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."

The buyer was quoted as saying: "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."

The urge "to destroy is also a creative urge", Banksy had stated on his Instagram account, where he posted a video about how he had prepared the shredder hidden in the frame.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Buyer to keep shredded Banksy painting'. Print Edition | Subscribe