The buyer of a Banksy print that began shredding itself as soon as the hammer went down is going ahead with the purchase.
Girl With Balloon, one of Banksy’s most widely recognised works, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London on Friday night.
In a twist that shocked onlookers and the art world, the canvas suddenly passed through a shredder installed in the frame when it was bought.
On instagram, the anti-establishment graffiti artist, posted a picture of the the 2006 piece dangling in pieces from the bottom of the frame, with the caption “Going, going, gone...”.
The new work has been given a new title, Love Is In The Bin, and has been granted a certificate by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body.
It has now emerged that the buyer, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, is proceeding with the £1.04 million purchase.
The buyer, who does not wish to be named, said: “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art, Europe, said: “Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one.
“Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale of the artist’s newly-titled Love Is In The Bin, the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction.”
Girl With Balloon appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London. The stencil spray painting shows a girl reaching towards a heart-shaped balloon.
The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.
Other Banksy works are due to go under the hammer and auctioneers have said they can’t guarantee the items will “shred or explode”.
Slave Labour, which features a young boy creating bunting at a sewing machine will go to auction on 19 November in Los Angeles, alongside other works by the mysterious street artist.
Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, said: “We can’t guarantee that our four Banksy’s will automatically shred or explode but they will sell to the highest bidder.”