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“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”

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“Going, Going, Gone…”

Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” sold for an artist record $1.4M at a Sotheby’s auction on Friday.

Moments after the gavel fell, an alarm sounded and the painting began to self destruct running through a shredder in the frame, emerging in strips.

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Who Is Banksy?

  • Graffiti artist, painter, activist, filmmaker & provocateur who’s identity hasn’t been confirmed.
  • Began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England in 1993, retreated into anonymity to avoid police & create buzz.
  • Calls art world the “world’s biggest joke” and “a rest home for the overprivileged, pretentious & weak.”
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Banksy Was Here

Known for his mischievous & satirical images of the art world he loathes, even sneaking into famous spots adding his own artwork:

  • Mona Lisa plastered with a smiley face sticker at the Louvre.
  • Inflatable doll dressed as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland.
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As his notoriety has grown, critics charge he’s too far removed to truly represent the subculture he works to represent.

“I give away thousands of paintings for free. I don’t think it’s possible to make art about world poverty and trouser all the cash.”

Banksy to The New Yorker
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Fetching more than 3 times estimates, “Girl With Balloon” may increase in value following the historic shredding. Sotheby’s insists it was not in on the joke, but critics wonder. As for Banksy, despite posting about the incident on social media, he's got no plans to reveal his identity.

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