In 2018, Banksy made the headlines for all the wrong (or right) reasons. One of his best-known artworks, Girl With Baloon, was up for sale at Sotheby’s when a hidden shredder in the frame began to consume the canvas. Now, the shredded Banksy has made its way to Sotheby’s again, with an estimate four times higher than last time.
The shredded Banksy artwork – now titled Love is in the Bin – sold for a little over a million pounds when it first went under the hammer in 2018. In what was one of the most successfully defiant statements against the art world establishment, Banksy had installed a remote-controlled shredding device within the frame, just in case the artwork was ever to be sold.
Right on cue, just as the auction concluded, Banksy activated the shredder and sent the simple stencilled canvas through the carefully concealed blades. The whirring motor of the shredder silenced the auction room, as everyone present tried to understand what was happening and if it was a scheduled part of the sale.
As Banksy confirmed in a statement, it wasn’t a PR stunt by the auction house, and was actually a carefully planned and executed gesture by the artist to protest his work being consumed outside the public domain. “Some people think it didn’t really shred. It did,” Banksy said. “Some people think the auction house were in on it, they weren’t.”
The winning bidder, despite how much the artwork had changed from when they began bidding, was still happy to pay the six-figure sum. Many were unsure of how the shredded statement by Banksy would impact the value of the artwork, but it looks to have been a prudent investment.
Now, just three years later, the estimate has quadrupled, likely netting the current owner a very significant payday. Love is in the Bin is set to go on sale again on October 14th, in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale.