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Banksy Painting “Self-Destructs” Just After Being Auctioned for $1.4m

The artist Banksy is known for his stunts. This may have been Banksy’s best prank in the art world.

Just after the Gavel fell on Friday at Sotheby’s auction house in London, the “Girl with Red Balloon” painting by Banksy was reduced to shreds. This was another apparently act in the disruptive career of the anonymous British graffiti artist.

The iconic image of a girl reaching out for a red, heart-shaped balloon, has just sold for $1.4 million, then, moments afterward, a shredder hidden inside the picture frame started going to work, according to a press release from Sotheby’s and the art suddenly “self-destructed.”

girl with red balloon painting banksy self destruct destructed
Photo of Banksy’s Girl with Red Balloon painting that self-destructed just moments after being sold in London. Credit: Sotheby’s

Banksy had a quote to say about the stunt on his Instagram account, stating – “Going, going, gone…” with a picture he posted that shows stunned onlookers, as the shredded art emerged from below the frame.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director of contemporary art, in a press release.

There hasn’t been any word about how the shredder began operating at the key moment after the auction, but it may have been activated by a remote mechanism. I have theories about how it could have been accomplished. The shredder could have been remotely activated through free or not free wifi internet. Banksy could’ve been there and activated it remotely, or someone he had be there could have done it. We’ve reached out to Sotheby’s London to ask if they do have wifi there, and are awaiting comment.

The auction, price at $1.4 million for the spray painted and acrylic on canvas Girl with Red Balloon tied the artist’s previous record Banksy set during 2008.

Is the painting worth triple now? Or will nobody dare to buy his artwork again?

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.


    1. Jim Pratt I’ve seen worse sell for more. Guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

    2. Jacqueline Cansella all art sales are just money laundering. It has nothing to do with how good it is.

    3. Stephen John Brace that would certainly make more sense than people paying vast sums for some of these pieces of “art”…

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