Banksy's Self-Shredded Artwork Sold for $25 Million

Banksy's Self-Shredded Artwork Sold for $25 Million

Three years ago, one of Banksy's works famously shredded half of itself after being sold at an auction. On Thursday, that very same piece broke the record for the most expensive artwork sold by the anonymous artist.

"Love is in the Bin," which was valued at a presale estimate of about $5.5 million to $8.2 million, sold for over $25.3 million at an auction by Sotheby's in London. This amount is almost 20 times what it was worth before it was shredded. The undisclosed buyer won the piece after a ten-minute bidding war between nine bidders — some in the room, others online and calling in over the phone.

The painting was formerly known as "Girl with Balloon" and sold for $1.4 million in October 2018. But as soon as it was bought, a hidden shredder began to whir and the bottom half of the canvas was torn to shreds, leaving strips hanging from below the frame.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby's chairman of modern and contemporary art, told The Art Newspaper, "It is not the same painting, it is a new work." And while some people three years ago saw this as an unfortunate event causing irreparable damage, it's become part of the piece and its message, and ultimately contributed to its rise in value.

"It has been a whirlwind to follow the journey of this now legendary piece and to have it back in our midst, offering it tonight in the very room it was created by the artist," Branczik told AP. "Banksy is no stranger to making headlines and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations across the world — we can only begin to guess what might come next."

Photo via Getty