The Web The Balloon Girl, of Banksy, whose partial self-destruction three years ago had caused a sensation, was auctioned in London, Thursday, October 14, for nearly 18.6 million pounds (21.9 million euros), a record for the British artist.
In 2018, just after a first acquisition, a crusher hidden in the frame had reduced to shreds the lower half of the canvas during the auction, already organized by the house Sotheby’s – the sale had just ended, at 1.2 million euros. This resounding action, which had provoked many reactions in the art world, was claimed by the mysterious street artist with the ambition to denounce the “Commodification” art. The work was then renamed Love is in the Bin (“Love is in the trash”).
“The most spectacular artistic event of the XXIe century “
Sotheby’s called the destruction “The most spectacular artistic happening of the XXIe century “, placing it in the“Legacy of anti-establishment art that began with [le mouvement] dada and Marcel Duchamp ”. “During this surrealist evening three years ago, I accidentally became the privileged owner of Love is in the Bin “, recalled the buyer, quoted in a press release from Sotheby’s in early September. But now is the time to part with it. “
Even before the sale, the graffiti, stenciled on a wall on the South Bank of London in 2002, had been named Britain’s favorite work of art. The sale exceeds the previous record set in March by Game Changer, another Banksy canvas showcasing caregivers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, sold for 16.75 million pounds (19.8 million euros) for the benefit of the British public health service.