Banksy painting 'self-destructs' after selling for $1.4M

Banksy painting 'self-destructs' after selling for $1.4M

The graffiti artist Banksy published a video detailing how his now-infamous artwork destroyed itself after being sold at auction.

The winning bidder for a Banksy painting that self-destructed during an auction last week has chose to go through with the purchase, auctioneer Sotheby's said Thursday.

Sotheby's did not release details on the buyer, but reports said the winning bid was made by telephone.

This is certainly not the first time that the mysterious British artist will pull a prank. A few years back he published an image on his website mocking an auction house and their clients for bidding for the framed words "I can't believe you morons actually buy this sh*t".

But it was quickly evident that one of the art world's most fascinating figures had orchestrated his most daring and brilliant stunt yet.

In 2013 he even set up a pop-up stand in New York's Central Park, where original canvases of his work were sold to customers for $60 a piece, far below the large sums his work usually demands.

Banksy's self-shredding'Girl With Baloon artwork caused chaos at Sotheby's
Banksy’s self-shredding ‘Girl With Baloon’ artwork caused chaos at Sotheby’s

The clip shows him placing the blade and later cuts to footage shot inside the auction room of the moment the shredder does its job.

Banksy has managed to keep his real identity secret from the public for decades - often spray-painting his murals under cover of night - while building a reputation for provocative street art with subversive, anti-establishment messaging.

For an artist who's known for his stunts, this could be Banksy's most flawless art world prank. He also has a penchant for elaborate pranks.

According to auction rules, the buyer can withdraw from the lot, if it was damaged. 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. English cited Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased De Kooning Drawing" - where the artist bought and obliterated the work of a peer - as somewhat of a precedent for Banksy's actions.

"What he did is really shocking, in a good way", Koukjian said.

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Three individuals were arrested, according to UFC president Dana White, but were released when McGregor declined to press charges. Though not near the three million buys he had spoken about before the fight, he did say the numbers are "way over two million".

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