Banksy artwork which partially shredded itself goes back under the hammer

·2-min read
Art handlers at Sotheby’s auction house with Banksy’s Love Is In The Bin, which self-shredded immediately after it was sold at auction (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Art handlers at Sotheby’s auction house with Banksy’s Love Is In The Bin, which self-shredded immediately after it was sold at auction (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

A Banksy painting that partially shredded itself after being sold at auction is going back under the hammer.

The subversive street artist stunned the art world when his Girl With Balloon attempted to self-destruct in London in 2018 immediately after the conclusion of the auction.

A collector had the top bid at £1.1 million.

Banksy’s Love Is In The Bin, which self-shredded immediately after it was sold at auction is up for sale again (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Banksy’s Love Is In The Bin, which self-shredded immediately after it was sold at auction is up for sale again (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

The canvas was passed through a secret shredder hidden in the large Victorian-style frame, leaving the bottom half in tatters and only a solitary red balloon left on a white background in the frame.

The painting, re-titled Love Is In The Bin after the shredding, is now back on offer and will appear at a Sotheby’s auction in October.

It has an estimated selling price of between £4-6 million.

Girl With Balloon, which depicts a small child reaching up toward a heart-shaped red balloon, was originally stencilled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy’s best-known images.

Banksy rose to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings across the country, marked by their satirical themes.

Girl With Balloon was one of Banksy’s best-known works before he partially shredded it and it was renamed Love Is In The Bin (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Girl With Balloon was one of Banksy’s best-known works before he partially shredded it and it was renamed Love Is In The Bin (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

The self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the mysterious street artist.

The owner of the work, who placed the £1 million winning bid on Girl With Balloon, said: “That surreal evening three years ago, I became the accidental – but very privileged – owner of Love Is In The Bin.

“It has been an incredible journey to have been part of the story of how one of the most famous artworks in the world came to be, but now it is time to let the painting go.”

Oliver Barker, auctioneer and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe said: “Auctions are live theatre, and as with any live production we need to prepare for all eventualities, but we were ‘Banksy-ed’, and you can never prepare yourself for that.

“Banksy is the ultimate art world outlaw, and in one exhilarating and shocking moment, Sotheby’s became the unwitting stage for his audacious piece of #loveisinthebin performance art.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Love Is In The Bin back to the very rooms where it was created this autumn.”

Other recent works included the opening of Dismaland, his dystopian, Disneyland-esque theme park in 2015, which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.

Love Is In The Bin will be offered at auction on October 14.

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