Here’s How Banksy Created the Self-destructing Artwork That Sold for $1.4 Million

'Balloon Girl' 2003 by artist Banksy is held by Bonham's Andrea Lee and is reflected in a mirror polished vase entiled 'B.O.O.P. by Ron Arad on October 22, 2007 in London. 11 paintings by graffiti artist Banksy are collected here for the first time for a sale called 'Vision 21' on October 24, 2007. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

This might be the biggest prank Banksy ever pulled. The enigmatic British street artist made headlines around the world over the weekend after a painting of his was sold at auction—and then proceeded to self-destruct the moment it sold.


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The artwork, titled “Girl With Balloon,” was sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s on Friday, October 5, before sending the entire room into a frenzy when the picture started to slide down into its frame, according to the New York Times. Once the shredding started happening, staffers took down the painting off the wall and brought it behind closed doors.



“We’ve been Banksy-ed,” said Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe Alex Branczik at a news conference. “I’ll be quite honest, we have not experienced this situation in the past, where a painting is spontaneously shredded upon achieving a record for the artist.”

A Bonhams intern poses with a work by Banksy entitled 'Balloon Girl', at Bonhams Auction house on September 16, 2011 in London, England. The piece makes up part of the 'Urban Art' sale which takes place on September 21, 2001 at Bonhams Auction house in London. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Following the wild auction, Banksy then released a video on his Instagram page showing how he created the frame.


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Here’s a look—plus the amazing reactions of the shocked people in the room as it happened:


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. “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge” – Picasso

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