Art has always been controversial and subjective. Every person has a different point of view. You do not need to learn a language or be a citizen of a specific country to view and own artwork because it is open to everyone as long as it is made public by the artist. Moreover, artworks are arguably one of the few mediums that have the power to cross boundaries and overcome language barriers.
Many controversial artists have divulged from the norm and created their mark on the world. For instance, a Banksy painting was open for auction at an auction in 2018 hosted by Sotheby’s – the leading broker of fine arts. Surprisingly, the painting was shredded only a second after it was sold. This stunt will never be forgotten. No artist had ever done it, so it was a bold move
Here are the things that you might not have known about the incident.
What was the painting about?
Among the many nontraditional artists, Banksy is arguably the most influential. He is an artist who chooses to remain anonymous owing to his street endeavors of tagging and making graffiti on the streets of various cities. While he started making graffiti, he also made canvases and offered his work for digital prints.
The famous artwork was a copy of the Balloon Girl. It was a Banksy painting that has done rounds worldwide and is present as graffiti in many countries.
While there are several interpretations and recreations of it, many people believe it symbolizes lost innocence and hope. People argue that the artwork means one must hold onto hope even if hope seems out of reach. In other words, this painting has become a symbol of hope.
There have been many versions of this art. For instance, the balloon was once colored like that of a union jack to represent elections. Similarly, in NYC, many streets were tagged with balloons held together by band-aids.
On October 5, 2018, Sotheby’s hosted an auction, and one of the many items in the auction was the framed artwork of the girl with the balloon. It was rated as one of the best artworks in England in 2017.
When the gavel hit and the painting was sold, the artwork’s frame beeped, and the artwork began to destroy itself. It stopped shredding halfway through, and in the viral videos of it on the internet, you can see that people are in shock and awe.
It is safe to say that no one would have ever imagined this to happen with artwork, especially during an auction.
Who shredded the painting?
It has been confirmed that Banksy shredded to prove a point that art should not be commercialized and taken too seriously.
After the incident, it was established by the representative of the artist that the motive was not to destroy the artwork but to create a new one. The artist, through his representatives, informed Sotheby’s of the new name of the artwork – The love is in the bin.
Later, he posted videos and stories on Instagram to show his behind-the-scenes, making the unique frame with the shredder.
What happened to the artwork?
The owner who bought it when it got shredded chooses to remain anonymous. The artwork was valued at $8 million, but shockingly the partially shredded painting was sold for $25.4 million.
This stunt pulled off by the most sensational street artist will be remembered for a long time.