Banksy Painting Self-Destructs After Netting $1.4 Million at Sotheby's London

The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m

Camera Icon The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m

Syer believes that only Banksy could really pull off such a stunt with the artwork, which was originally painted by the artist on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London. With some of the image hanging down in strips, the 2006 work of spray paint on canvas of a girl reaching for a red, heart-shaped balloon was swiftly carried off.

A post on Banksy's official Instagram account showed the moment - and the shocked reaction of those in the room - with the words "Going, going, gone".

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Alex Branczik, Sotheby's director of contemporary art in Europe, said.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge", Banksy wrote, citing Picasso.

It does not show how the shredder was activated, but it is thought to have been achieved through a remotely activated mechanism within the frame.

The bidding climbed to an extraordinary US$1.4 million, an amount that tied the artist's own auction record from 2008.

Sotheby's European chairman and the auctioneer at the time of the incident, Oliver Barker, told the ABC that this was a "brilliant Banksy moment".

Contemporary Art marketplace polled over 1,400 members of the British public to measure the popularity of the anonymous England-based street artist.

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Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work.

In a video posted on Instagram, Banksy revealed the details of the custom-made frame, which included a shredder "in case it was ever up for auction".

Is the "destroyed" Banksy work now even more valuable?

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.

One thing is for sure, the painting may be "damaged" but the art event will go down in art history, and the price may soar as a result.

"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context ..." Right after the piece was sold, the work of art self-destructed.

Another film of the auction appears to have captured the artist himself videoing the artwork being shredded.

Sotheby's refused to reveal who had bought the piece before it was shredded.

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