Entertainment Arts Shred alert: Banksy says malfunction saved artwork

Shred alert: Banksy says malfunction saved artwork

Sotheby's staff with Girl with Balloon. Photo: Getty
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Banksy has posted a new video to his website implying the partial shredding of his Girl With Balloon at a London auction was supposed to have been complete.

The video appears to show the famously anonymous artist constructing the shredding mechanism inside an ornate frame and pushing a button in a black box to activate the destruction at Sotheby’s in London earlier this month.

The act shocked the crowd, but the winning bidder, a European collector, went ahead and bought it anyway for more than 1 million pounds ($1.86 million), according to the auction house.

Sotheby’s did not name the buyer.

The partial shredding drew speculation that the act was a stunt to increase the value of the painting of a young girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.

The canvas was shredded to right above the girl’s head, leaving the balloon intact.

The end of the new video notes: “In rehearsals it worked every time …”

A complete shredding of the same design is then shown.

The nearly three-minute-long video is titled, Shredding the Girl and Balloon, the Director’s cut.

Banksy has never disclosed his full identity.

He began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world’s best-known artists.

His mischievous and often satirical images include two policemen kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words, “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”

His Girl With Balloon was originally stencilled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy’s best-known images.