Stunt or statement? R20m Banksy artwork self destructs at auction

Banksy's 'self destructing painting' the 'PR stunt of the year'

Banksy's 'self destructing painting' the 'PR stunt of the year'

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.

In a video, a person purported to be the anonymous graffiti artist is shown installing a shredder inside the gilded frame "in case it was ever put up for auction".

The painting-turned-performance artwork has also been renamed from "Girl with Balloon" to "Love is in the Bin, Sotheby's said in a statement Thursday".

Sotheby's confirmed that the buyer, a long-standing female client of the prestigious auction house, has agreed to buy the work for the price agreed at auction.

"Following his surprise intervention on the night, we are pleased to confirm the sale. the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".

Sotheby's said this was "certainly" the first time a work of art started to shred itself after coming under the hammer. The corresponding video he posted on his Instagram page.

The painting soared to a final price of £1,042,000 ($1,357,726), equalling the auction record for a Banksy work originally set back in 2008.

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It is unclear whether this was part of a grand plan or whether the shredding was interrupted when alarmed auction house staff removed it from the wall.

It was auctioned off for $1.4 million.

For those who didn't get a chance to see the incident unfold last week (and are not already exhausted of reading about it), Love Is In the Bin goes on show at Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries on 13 and 14 October.

The famously faceless artist is known for his stunts.

Banksy is known worldwide for his England-based street art.

Internet sleuths say this man bares a passing resemblance to Robin Gunningham, widely suspected of being the man behind Banksy.

A year later, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.

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