arts

Second sale of Banksy's shredded painting sets staggering new record at $25.4 million

Published 14th October 2021
Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's
Second sale of Banksy's shredded painting sets staggering new record at $25.4 million
Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN
The Banksy painting that partially self-destructed at auction three years ago has sold once more, for a staggering £18.5 million ($25.4 million).
The new auction for "Love is in the Bin" took place at Sotheby's Contemporary Art evening sale in London on Thursday and became the artist's record, topping the sale of "Game Changer" one year ago. That artwork, which depicted health care workers as superheroes, sold for £16.7 million ($23.1 million) to benefit UK hospitals.
"Love is in the Bin," renamed from "Girl with the Balloon," had a high estimate of £6 million ($8.3 million), six times its previous value of £1 million ($1.4 million). The artwork remains half-shredded in its frame, which concealed a mechanism to auto-destroy it after the hammer dropped at its original sale. Banksy later implied the shredder had malfunctioned, prohibiting the work from turning entirely to scraps.
Banksy's shredded artwork renamed
"It was a big moment because nothing like that had been done before," said art historian, author and co-founder of Artful, Matthew Israel, in a previous email interview with CNN. The idea of a self-destructing artwork was, he added, "entirely at odds with the aims of the auction house, where the condition of an artwork is paramount and the knowledge and expertise about it is core to its authority and value."
The identity of seller at Thursday's auction has not been revealed, though Sotheby's has described them as a female collector from Europe and a long-standing client of the auction house. The new buyer has the option to pay in cryptocurrency.
A few months after the first auction in 2018, the Frieder Burda Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany, became the first public space to display "Love is in the Bin." Ahead of this sale, the painting exhibited in London, Hong Kong, Taipei and New York.