Street artist Banksy sent a message on Friday when his iconic “Girl With Balloon” painting appeared to self-destruct during an auction at Sotheby’s in London. The gavel came down on the last bid at £1.04 million (about $1.4 million), and seconds later an alarm sounded as the painting began to run through a shredder that was embedded inside the frame.
Bansky’s Instagram account immediately shared an image of the incident with the caption “Going, going, gone…” On Saturday, the artist shared a video that detailed the process of planting the shredder inside the frame. “A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting in case it was ever put up for auction,” read a slide in the video. The clip was captioned with “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge – Picasso.”
Watch the shocking incident below.
“We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story. We are in discussion about next steps,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
“Girl With Balloon” initially appeared on a wall on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, East London.