The biggest news in the art world this week has been iconic street artist and expectation subverter Banksy shredding his own painting, seconds after it had been resold for $1.4 million at an auction.
In an apparent stand against capitalism, the anonymous grafitti artist fitted the frame with a built in shredder, automatically slicing up the piece once it sold to the highest bidder. The creator hatched his plan as way back in 2006 as a pre-emptive measure against the painting going to auction. That’s right, Banksy’s been sitting on this prank for 12 years now!
Ironically, this stunt actually increased the artwork’s value, doubling its worth, and has inspired one art collector to try his own hand at shredding a Banksy.
The unnamed collector took a pen knife to his own Banksy print, which happened to be one of 600 limited prints of the Girl With a Balloon, in the hopes of increasing its worth from $52,000 to $104,000. However, the damage has rendered the print almost worthless, and is now valued at just a $1.
Now, experts at My Art Broker – an art-selling platform – have been begging art collectors not to shred their Banksy prints, after a series of queries from owners asking if it would increase their worth.
Co-founder Ian Syer said: “When Banksy does something crazy like shredding his own artwork, it will naturally have a dramatic affect on values.
“What this person today seems to have done is needlessly ruin a print worth around £40,000 and reduce its value to almost nothing.
“We strongly recommend nobody else takes valuable art and tries to cash in on what history will judge a simply brilliant stunt.”