Banksy, successful business operation: shredded work sold for a record sum


Banksy has hit the nail on the head, but this time anything but a mural: it's a perfectly successful business transaction that led to the sale at Sotheby's of his 2018 shredded print for a record 18 million: 18 times the value of the work--intact.

All as scripted and as widely predicted: Love in the bin, the Banksy work resulting from the semi-destruction of one of his prints featuring the famous Balloon girl (which had been partly shredded during an auction at Sotheby’s in 2018), was once again auctioned at Sotheby’s last October 13, at the dizzying sum of 18 million pounds (18.582,000 to be exact, or nearly 22 million euros), a value eighteen times that at which it had been sold “intact” (at the time, the adjudication stopped at 1,042,000).

Banksy’s work triggered a jumble of bids, with a chase that lasted ten minutes and was attended by nine potential buyers. Sotheby’s remarked, with a hint of pride, that Love is in the Bin is “the first work of art in history to be created live at auction,” and for BBC critic Will Gompertz it is even “one of the most significant works of art of the early 21st century.”

This is an auction record for Banksy: never before has one of his works touched such a high figure. The record previously belonged to Devolved Parliament (the famous Monkey Parliament), which was beaten in 2019 at 9,879,500: in short, with his shredded work, with which it seemed that Banksy wanted to make fun of the market (in fact, the Bristol-based street artist is fully inserted into the gears of the industry), he created the conditions for a commercial operation that, given the result, can be said to have succeeded perfectly.

Banksy, successful business operation: shredded work sold for a record sum
Banksy, successful business operation: shredded work sold for a record sum