Sale Of Banksy’s Girl With Balloon Is Confirmed With A Surprising Twist

The winning bidder on Banksy’s Girl with Balloon offered at Sotheby’s last Friday has confirmed their decision to acquire the new work that was created that night, as part of the canvas passed through a hidden shredder seconds after the hammer fell. The new work has been granted a certificate by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and has been given a new title, Love is in the Bin.

“Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one. Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly-titled Love is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, Europe.

Bansky, Love is in the Air, 2018. Sold for £1,042,000
Bansky, Love is in the Air, 2018. Sold for £1,042,000

Photo Credit: Sotheby’s

The buyer, a female European collector and a long- standing client of Sotheby’s, is proceeding with the purchase at the same price as was achieved in the room on the night. Love is in the Bin, 2018, will be on view to the public in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries on Saturday and Sunday 13 and October from noon until 5pm.

The buyer commented: “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

Catching the art world by surprise, this unexpected piece of performance art became instant art world history, making it the first time a new work had been created in the course of an auction. Banksy has a history with pranking art establishments, having previously pulled stunts in the Louvre, Tate Britain, the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum. Sotheby’s now joins that long and distinguished list.

Lot 67 in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale on October 5, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon was one of a number of works hanging on the sale room wall during Friday’s auction. It was housed in an ‘artist’s frame’, a large, heavy, Victorian-style frame of the kind often used by Banksy to poke fun at the establishment. Attractively estimated at £200,000-300,000, the work drew spirited bidding and hammered at £860,000 and a final sale price of £1,042,000 with Sotheby’s commission.