Back in 2018, an art piece created by legendary street artist Banksy went up for auction at Sotheby’s in London. The piece, titled “Girl with Balloon,” was exactly what it sounded like: an image of a young girl reaching up for a heart shaped balloon. An anonymous buyer made the winning bid to purchase the piece, an impressive $1.4 million, but the moment the price was confirmed, a hidden paper shredder in the frame activated, shredding the painting’s lower half. In almost any other case, such an event would render the art worthless, but for a Banksy piece, it only made it more valuable.
Since the partial shredding, the buyer still purchased the piece and has taken it on tour around the world, shredded ribbons still dangling from the frame. Yesterday, the piece returned to Sotheby’s, renamed “Love is in the Bin,” where it went up for auction once again. Taking the increased popularity of the piece into account, it was projected to sell for $5.5 million to $8.2 million.. After 10 minutes of bidding, the piece beat that estimate exponentially, selling for an unprecedented $25,383,941. That’s about 20 times its original sale price.
An anonymous buyer paid $1.4 million for a piece of art by Banksy in 2018.
But as the auction closed, a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy cut the painting in half.
That same painting just sold for $25.4 million, a 1,700% gain in 3 years.
It’s wild out there ? pic.twitter.com/hHdupLPy86
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) October 14, 2021
“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,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s chairman of modern and contemporary art. “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.”