The famous graffiti artist Banksy, known for his political and controversial street art, has the art world abuzz with theories on how he pulled off his latest stunt-the live self-destruction of his painting at Sotheby's London's contemporary art auction on Friday, October 5. The artist posted the moment on his Instagram with a comment reading "Going, going, gone". The video is captioned with a quote by the Spanish artist Picasso, who had said the urge to destroy was also a creative urge.
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 Banksy painting that self-destructed after being sold for $1.1 million has reportedly doubled in value after the controversial stunt.
Koukjian, who has met Banksy, said he is sure he caught a glimpse of the artist in the saleroom amid the confusion of the moment.
Unlike the various print editions of the image, this was a unique, original painting signed by Banksy, and gifted to the owner following his 2006 Barley Legal show in Los Angeles.
'A few years ago, I had secretly incorporated a paper shredder in the painting, in case it would be auctioned, ' he says in the caption in the video.
By the year 2000, Banksy had adopted his now-signature style of stencilling and his works became widely known in Bristol and London. According to The Sun, "Banksy has never been unmasked and it is believed his refusal to reveal himself started as a way of avoiding prosecution for vandalism".
"We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context", Branczik told the outlet. It claims the event shocked the art world, and "certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer".
Others said the stunt had increased the value of the work, while there were also theories over whether the buyer would be expected to go through with the purchase.
Unfortunately the joke is on the art defiler; experts at MyArtBroker.com refused to accept the maimed piece, which they estimate is now worth only £1.
Orange County-based artist Jeff Gillette, whose 2010 "Dismayland" works portraying a slum surrounding the theme park were included in Banksy's similarly titled project, calls Banksy's newest prank 'brilliant'.