The painting, “Girl with Balloon,” was a copy of one of the artist’s most famous graffiti pieces. That artist is a british graffiti artist known as Banksy. He’s a well-known street artist, and his work sort of becomes an attraction rather than an eyesore. His artwork is actually valued highly enough that many times, pieces of the actual building where the art was placed are removed and saved, rather than just cleaned off.
Banksy, whose identity is a complete mystery, has been doing “graffiti art” for years. He tends to lean toward the political side of things, making “political statements.” You could call it controversial, I suppose. He also paints in a sort of “stick it to the man” kind of theme. One of his more well-known pieces is called “Girl with Balloon.” It’s a silhouette of a girl releasing a heart-shaped balloon into the wind. It’s a simple and clean piece, compared to a lot of his other works. Anyway, he just made a copy of that painting that shredded itself after it went up for auction.
The story goes that Banksy made a copy of that “Girl with Balloon” painting a few years ago. He built it into a big box frame. Banksy also designed a shredder (like a paper shredder) into that same frame, but kept it secret. He did it for the sake of destroying the piece should it ever go up for auction. Sure enough, that painting turned up on the auction block. Mere moments after the gavel dropped with a winning bid of $1.4 million, the shredder was activated, and the painting started to slide out of the bottom of the frame in shreds. People in the room where the auction happened weren’t really sure how to react.
Some people are saying that it’s purely a publicity thing, as there’s no way that a hidden paper shredder would go unnoticed for so long, nor would the power supply (probably batteries) have lasted that long. And how would it know it was being auctioned? It would have had to be activated from the outside somehow. Anyway, it’s also being called a work of art itself. He’s well-known enough in the art community that this sort of statement is an art itself. Remember, art isn’t just pretty paint, art is interpretation of ideas in general, depending on who you ask. Whatever the case, it’s an interesting thing to have happen, and we’re sure that it’s worth a lot more than $1.4M now. Source.