Banksy artwork famous for 'shredding itself' sells for record £18.5 million – more than triple its guide price

A BANKSY artwork made famous for "shredding itself" at a previous auction has sold for a record £18.5 million.

Love Is In The Bin went under the hammer at Sotheby's in London again today – and it sold well over its £4-6million guide price.


The original piece was titled Girl With Balloon and sold for £1million in 2018.

But the painting self destructed remotely moments after selling, becoming one of the anonymous artist's most famous stunts.

The canvas was passed through a secret shredder hidden inside the large frame, leaving the bottom half in tatters and only a solitary red balloon left on a white background in the frame.

Today, the hammer went down on the painting at £16million, but after Sotheby's fee the price rose to £18,582,000.

Its anonymous buyer in the 2018 auction held onto the piece, meaning they have made a very healthy profit of about £15million.

Sotheby's said the "decommissioned, remote controlled shredding mechanism" was still in the frame.

After closing the bidding today, auctioneer Oliver Barker joked he was relieved that the artwork was "still there".

He also said that the painting became an "unexpected piece of performance art" when it shredded in the same auction room after being sold to a "private European investor" three years ago.

Closing the bidding at £16million, Mr Barker said: "At £16million ladies and gentlemen we are selling the Banksy at Sotheby's.

"You were here for this fantastic moment."

He then got a laugh from the room as he said: "I can't tell you how terrified I am to bring down this hammer."

Girl With Balloon, which depicts a small child reaching up towards a heart-shaped red balloon, was originally stencilled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images.

Alex Branczik, chairman of modern and contemporary art at Sotheby's Asia, said: "It is almost three years to the day since one of the most ingenious moments of performance art this century made auction history.

"It has been a whirlwind to follow the journey of this now legendary piece and to have it back in our midst, offering it tonight in the very room it was created by the artist.

"Banksy is no stranger to making headlines and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations across the world – we can only begin to guess what might come next."


 

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