On the 6th of October, a work by the mysterious artist known as Banksy was sold at auction for just over £1m. As the auction completed, the print of “Girl with a Balloon” began to slide down within the frame and was shredding itself while staff and visitors at Sotheby’s watched - some in awe, some with shock and (probably) some with a smile.
In shredding a work that had just been bought for £1m Banksy challenges us to question the value of art. Is a work of art worth the money that is paid for it? In the case of “Girl with a Balloon”, is it now worth more because it is the first artwork to be ‘created’ during a live auction? Some would say that the shredding of the work is the art. While others have said that Banksy had no right to destroy the work after it had been purchased.
‘How very Banksy’ many would probably say, as the graffiti artist has remained un-named for many years and continues to confound the art world and the public. His works have captivated viewers around the world, and what was seen as a form of vandalism is now referred to as ‘street art’. Much of the work of this enigmatic artist is at times whimsical and in other cases a biting socio-political comment.
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