A painting by British street artist Banksy self-destructed through a build-in shredder during a Sotheby’s auction.
The anonymous artist, vandal and political activist Banksy pulled his most extravagant prank yet over the weekend. Last Friday, one of his most recognized pieces of art, Girl With Balloon, was shredded automatically seconds after it was sold for $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction.
As soon as the auctioneer’s hammer hit the wood an alarm sound went off, and the just-sold painting began to self-destruct.
Apparently, the artist had installed a hand-made shredder into the frame of the painting, with is made from spray paint on canvas.
Shortly after, Banksy posted a video to his website and Instagram profile, showing a hooded person installing a shredder into the frame of a painting.
In the video he says that he put in the shredder “a few years ago” just “in case it was ever put up for auction.”
In what appeared as a celebratory post on his Instagram profile, the artist wrote the caption: “Going, going, gone…”
In another post he defended himself by quoting Picasso, saying that “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art, Alex Branczik.