The Woman Who Purchased The Banksy Painting That Shredded Itself Plans To Keep It

The painting, "Girl With A Balloon," is now a pile of shreds entitled "Love Is In The Bin."

The shredded Banksy art.
Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for Sotheby's

The painting, "Girl With A Balloon," is now a pile of shreds entitled "Love Is In The Bin."

The woman who purchased the Banksy painting that shredded itself at the very second that the auctioneer hit the gavel says that she plans to keep it — or what’s left of it. In fact, she may wind up slightly richer for the whole experience.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Sotheby’s in London auctioned off a Banksy painting last week, Girl With a Balloon, for £1,042,000 — or about $1.4 million. Literally as soon as the auctioneer hit the gavel to signal the end of bidding, a hidden shredder embedded within the frame sprang into operation, shredding the million-dollar Banksy as horrified art lovers looked on.

Those familiar with Banksy were quick to point out that this is par for the course for the reclusive street artist, an individual who loves pulling pranks. In fact, in destroying one work of art, Banksy actually created another. The pile of shredded paper is now known as Love Is In The Bin, and is a commentary on commercialism and the fragile nature of objects.

And it’s also now reportedly worth even more than what the buyer paid for it.

As MSN reports, British art dealer Offer Waterman says that Banksy’s prank didn’t just destroy an old painting, he elevated it — and the resultant mess — into itself another work of art, one that will pay off in the end.

“It’s become worth more as a conceptual moment than as a work of art itself.”

In a statement, Sotheby’s said essentially the same thing.

“In the process of ‘destroying’ the artwork, a new one was created.”

As for the buyer, the anonymous female, who bid over the phone, said that she intends to keep the ruined painting, preserving it as a piece of art history.

“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.”

Sotheby’s also confirmed that the sale of the painting will proceed.

“The buyer, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, is proceeding with the purchase at the same price as was achieved in the room on the night.”

Banksy, for his part, says that he secretly installed a shredder in the painting’s frame “years ago.” He also misquoted Picasso — actually quoting Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakunin — who said that “the urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”