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Banksy's New Video Takes You Behind the Scenes During the 'Girl with Balloon' Shredding Stunt

"In rehearsals it worked every time."
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2018
By Sarah Ward
October 20, 2018

It has been two short weeks since Banksy pulled what might be the artist's greatest prank yet — ripping one of his own paintings to shreds the very moment it was sold at auction. And if you just can't get enough of the stunt, Banksy has released a new extended video that peers behind the scenes as it all goes down.

Called Shred the Love: The Director's Cut, the nearly three-minute clip is available on the artist's website, and reveals not only what went down when Banksy's Girl with Balloon artwork self-destructed as the hammer fell on the winning bid, but what was supposed to happen. Alongside the bidding at London's Sotheby's auction house, footage of someone pressing a button on a remote to start the shredding process, and the shocked mayhem afterwards, Banksy reveals that the entire painting was supposed to be cut to pieces. "In rehearsals it worked every time," the video notes.

Understandably, the stunt has sparked plenty of chatter both in the art world and in general over the past fortnight, including suggestions that the work has now gone up in value. The Telegraph reports that the collector with the winning £860,000 (AU$1.6 million) bid has decided to keep the piece, which has been retitled Love is in the Bin — although if Banksy had gotten his way, only torn strips of the painting would remain.

The new video expands upon the original clip that Banksy posted in the immediate aftermath of the October 5 prank, showing a shredder being secretly built into the artwork, with an explanation that this was done a few years ago "in case it was ever put up for auction".

Sotheby's has repeatedly advised that it had no knowledge of the prank before it happened. "It appears we just got Banksy-ed," Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Europe, told The Art Newspaper.

Of course, whether Banksy is building the world's most depressing theme park, crafting a dark tourism ad for Gazaopening a Bethlehem guesthouse with a view of the Israeli-Palestinian border or spray painting his pieces all over the globe, the artist's work tends to make a statement. The latest stunt certainly does continue Banksy's fascination with both creation and destruction, which has long been a theme at the centre of the street artist's work.

Images: Olga Rozenbajgier, The Art of BanksyBanksy.

Published on October 20, 2018 by Sarah Ward


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