Banksy’s “Love is in the Bin”, formerly Girl With Balloon before it partially self-destructed at the moment of sale in 2018, is back up for auction at Sotheby’s in October – and it could be worth up to six times more in its semi-shredded state.
The painting of a young girl holding a red heart-shaped balloon by the elusive British street artist became one of the most famous artworks ever when it attempted to shred itself the moment after it sold at auction in 2018.
Auction goers were left aghast when the bottom half of the then-titled Girl With Balloon canvas disappeared through a secret shredder hidden in its frame, moments after it sold for £1.1m at the Sotheby’s London auction.
Although they were left with a partially destructed piece, the buyer proceeded with the purchase and now sits in a very favourable position.
The piece has since been officially renamed as “Love is in the Bin” and is up for sale at the next Sotheby’s auction in October with a price estimate of between £4m and £6m.
Art experts predicted at the time that the stunt would only push Banksy’s prices higher, owing to the amount of media attention it received.
Joey Syer, co-founder of the London-based online art marketplace MyArtBroker.com said: “This is now part of art history in its shredded state,” in The Guardian.
Yet many were divided over whether Sotheby’s and the buyer really were in the dark about the stunt. In the aftermath of the auction, Citi Private Bank’s head of art advisory and finance told a wealth management publication : “The due diligence a good art advisory would have done would have blown that hoax.”