Self-destructing Art

Banksy’s iconic “Girl With Red Balloon” street art went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in a custom frame of the artist’s own design; moments after it sold for £953,829, a booby-trap kicked in, drawing the canvas into a series of shredder blades built into the frame, rendering it down to a pile of forlorn strips of shredded cloth.

Anybody who pays this sort of money for this kind of crap totally deserves to be left with a pile of torn strips.

4 thoughts on “Self-destructing Art”

  1. I think this is hilarious! Banksy is a political artist so this stunt is probably his comment on the pretentiousness and corruption of the art market. Good for him. And his work looks good in the street, which is where it belongs, not in bloody Sotheby’s, there are two of his in the town where I live.


  2. The irony here is that some art experts are saying that the canvas may actually be worth more money in its shredded state! 🙂


  3. Admittedly, it is still hard for me to understand why “Girl With Red Balloon” is crap while a black square is art.
    I understand it it because of the ideas behind the black square, but still…

    Do you see Banksy’s works in general as “crap”?

    The good thing that stemmed from your post is that I googled “Girl With Red Balloon” and loved it. It is life-affirming. Thanks!


    1. This kind of stuff was cute 100 years ago. But a century of the same tricks that aim to shock and absolutely nothing else – it gets old. This “artist” knows that the Girl with Balloon is worth $9.99 at most. Which is why he has to use these cheap tricks to attract people’s attention.

      As you to say, Malevich was at the root of the idea that the point of art is to shock and nothing else. And this is the result.

      The British art scene is an absolute cesspool. I recommend Him McGuigan’s Neoliberal Culture, which explains that all this kind of art does is legitimize the ideology of neoliberalism. You simply don’t get more neoliberal, in the worst sense of the world, than the Banksy phenomenon.


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