The canvas, renamed “Love is in the trash”, far exceeds the previous record set by a work by the British artist.
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Three years after causing a sensation by partially self-destructing, The Balloon Girl of Banksy was sold for almost £ 18.6million (€ 21.8million) at auction in London on Thursday, October 14. “I can’t tell you how terrified I am to bring this hammer down.”, launched the auctioneer of Sotheby’s, to the laughter of the audience, before awarding the renamed work Love is in the trash to a private collector in Asia.
The last appearance of the work, in October 2018, had indeed aroused amazement around the world. No sooner had the hammer sounded than a crusher hidden in the frame had torn to shreds the lower half of the canvas, which depicts a little girl releasing a red heart-shaped balloon. Only the ball on a white background remained intact. With this resounding action, which had caused a real earthquake in the art world, Banksy had the ambition to denounce the “commodification” art.
Love is in the trash greatly exceeds the previous record set by a work by the British artist. Last March, Game Changer, a painting honoring caregivers during the Covid-19 pandemic, had been sold for 19.5 million euros for the benefit of the British public health service.