LONDON — A Banksy artwork has self-destructed moments after being sold at auction for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million), in a prank apparently orchestrated by the elusive street artist.
The spray-painted canvas “Girl With Balloon” went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on Friday night, equaling a record price for the artist. Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shredder embedded in the frame, emerging out the bottom in strips.
A post on Banksy’s official Instagram account showed the moment with the words “Going, going, gone…”
Alex Branczik, head of contemporary European art at the auction house, said: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.”
Banksy, who has never disclosed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England and has become one of the world’s best-known artists.