The graffiti artist Banksy published a video detailing how his now-infamous artwork destroyed itself after being sold at auction. 'Girl With Balloon, ' which depicts a child reaching upward toward a heart-shaped balloon, was first stenciled on a wall in East London.
Banksy himself captured the moment of shredding on Instagram with a photo captioned "Going, going, gone..."
"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art Alex Branczik said. The video showed images of a shredder being implanted into a picture frame along with footage of Friday's auction finale.
It's perhaps surprising that no alarm bells began ringing among the observers when the piece sold for the exact same sum as Banksy's previous auction record, set in 2008.
Banksy's Girl With Balloon (2006) self-destructed at the end of a Sotheby's auction.
Contemporary Art marketplace MyArtBroker.com polled over 1,400 members of the British public to measure the popularity of the anonymous England-based street artist.
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It opened with the caption: "A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting". Some art-market watchers say the work could be worth even more in its shredded state.
Banksy - whose identity still has yet to be confirmed - often incorporates political messaging, anti-capitalist ideas, and art world satire into his work.
After it was left in tatters, Banksy posted a snap on Instagram of shocked art lovers at the auction house.
Never had we seen such a scene during an auction.
Others said the stunt had increased the value of the work, while there were also theories over whether the buyer would be expected to go through with the purchase.
She said Banksy would have known all along what effect the stunt would have on the value of his work, and it was part of his ongoing exploration of the commercialisation of art.
Internet sleuths located another image of the incident, showing a man with a camera phone videoing it.