Banksy shreds his own artwork after £1m sale at Sotheby's


Banksy shreds his own artwork after £1m sale at Sotheby's

A Banksy artwork has self-destructed moments after being sold at auction for 1.04 million pounds (NZ$2.1 million), in a prank apparently orchestrated by the elusive street artist.

Pre-auction, the piece and been estimated to go for between £200,000 and £300,000.

"[It] sold for over a million dollars and as we sat there...the painting started moving", he said, and added that the painting's frame, also made by Banksy, acted as a shredder and started to cut the canvas into strips.

However, in a twist from street art's most subversive character, the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame.

Posting a picture of the moment on Instagram, Banksy gave his own comment on the stunt, writing: "Going, going, gone".

Joey Syer, co-founder of says the shredded version could be worth upwards of £2m as it is one of a kind.

Video shot by an attendee showed two Sotheby's workers remove the painting, partially shredded and hanging from the frame, from the wall and whisk it away. "It's certainly the first piece to be spontaneously shredded as an auction ends".

Sotheby's released a statement to the Financial Times: "We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story".

Banksy has always been opposed to the commercialisation of his art, using this as a theme for some of his work.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed".

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

The true identity of the Bristol-born artist has never been officially revealed despite wide speculation.

He came to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country, marked by deeply satirical undertones.



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