Art prankster Banksy has struck again.
A work by the elusive street artist apparently self-destructed in front of startled auction-goers on Friday, moments after being sold for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million).
A day later, Banksy revealed on his official Instagram account Saturday that he “secretly built a shredder into a painting” years ago “in case it was ever put up for auction.”
In the social media video, the spray-painted canvas “Girl With Balloon” went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London. The artwork fetched more than three times its pre-sale estimate and equaling a record price for the artist.
Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shredder embedded in the frame, emerging from the bottom in strips.
Another post on Banksy’s Instagram showed the moment – and the shocked reaction of those in the room – with the words “Going, going, gone…”
Sotheby’s – which had noted before the sale that the work’s ornate gilded frame was “an integral element of the artwork chosen by Banksy himself” – expressed surprise at the incident.
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, head of contemporary European art at the auction house.
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Source: USA Today