There's something oddly satisfying about seeing someone spend roughly $1.4 million for art just to see it shred itself into dozens of tiny strips immediately after. This story doesn't end as bad as you might think though. The buyer is excited to keep the renovated artwork.
"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history," she said.
After being destroyed, the piece was renamed Love Is in the Bin and authenticated by Banksy's Pest Control. The event was a spectacle to behold because it came as a shock to everyone in attendance. Following the incident, the celebrated street artist revealed that he installed a shredder into the frame years ago. When it was finally sold, the shredder was activated and half of the painting was cut into ribbons.
Sotheby's will display the work in its new form on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14 before it is sent off to its new home with the buyer. The art dealer's head of contemporary art Alex Branczik told The Guardian, "Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one. Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly titled Love Is in the Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."
The original Girl With a Balloon stencil was created in 2006 and displayed on a wall on the South Bank in London with the sentence, "There is always hope."