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

Banksy’s Barely Believable Batteries             42 Comments              by      Jenny List

For an artist who's known for his stunts, this could be Banksy's most ideal art world prank.

Anonymous artist Banksy stunned the world again yesterday when his Girl With Balloon painting shredded itself moments after being sold for £1million.

If the owner of "Girl with Balloon" brought a civil suit against Banksy for vandalizing this painting, it could puncture the allure of his illegal and destructive work. The artist posted the moment on his Instagram with a comment reading "Going, going, gone".

And it could just be that it was he who remotely triggered a shredder built into the frame of the iconic piece, just as the hammer fell on its £1.042 million ($A1.9 million) sale.

The painting soared to a final price of £1,042,000 ($1,357,726), equalling the auction record for a Banksy work originally set back in 2008.

Artist Isaiah King, who is exhibiting at The Other Art Fair in London, said the event was abuzz with news of Banksy's antics.

Friday's self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist. But perhaps the most improbable notion of all is that anyone truly feels that this most rote and replicated Bansky image is worth either a million dollars or a great deal of kerfuffle about its sensational destruction.

Banksy was also claimed to have been pictured this year after one of his works appeared on the disused Scott Street Bridge in Hull.

Sotheby's auction house - where Banksy's art was sold and swiftly destroyed - has said that it is now in discussions with the buyer about what to do next.

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context", Branczik told the outlet.

It doesn't appear to have put off Banksy owners, however, who have contacted MyArtBroker.com after they estimated that the torn-up piece had roughly doubled in value after the stunt. Nor is this the first prank that Banksy has played on the public.

Internet sleuths located another image of the incident, showing a man with a camera phone videoing it.

However, he also expected that, given all the media attention on the Sotheby's stunt, Banksy probably only added to the shredded piece's allure.

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