Banksy's Girl With Balloon painting just pulled the ultimate art prank

Sheila Mcguire
October 13, 2018

Street artist Banksy, who has never revealed his identity, pulled off the biggest prank in auction history.

The artist then shared a video on his Instagram account, showing he had secretly built a shredder inside the frame of the painting, which was activated the second the painting was sold.

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

The anonymous buyer says the work marks a seminal event.

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The official new name of the artwork is now "Love Is In The Bin". The video is captioned with a quote by the Spanish artist Picasso, who had said the urge to destroy was also a creative urge.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, Sotheby's director of contemporary art in Europe, said.

MyArtBroker.com co-founder Joey Syer told The Guardian that Banksy works of art are increasing in value, year after year.

Auctioneers have promised no more stunts as they look to sell off Slave Labour, which features a young boy creating bunting at a sewing machine.

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The buyer of the painting "has confirmed its decision to acquire the new work that was created that night", said Sotheby's in a press release, stating that the price at which it had been assigned, 1,042 million pounds (1,185 million euros), was maintained.

At the weekend Banksy's piece - Girl With Balloon - was being auctioned off at Sotheby's in London.

It is widely accepted that Banksy's street art career began in the early 1990s in Bristol in the United Kingdom, as part of the local DryBeadz graffiti crew.

In this undated photo provided by Sotheby's the spray-painted canvas "Girl with Balloon" by artist Banksy is pictured.

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In 2016, scientists at Queen Mary's University in London used geographic profiling, based on the artist's movements, to identify him as a man called Robin Gunningham. In 2006, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.

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