LONDON (AP) — A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally tore itself to pieces just after it sold for $1.4 million could rise several times that price at auction on Thursday.
“Love is in the Bin” is being offered by Sotheby’s in London, with an estimated presale of £4 million to £6 million ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).
It consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame with a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.
The work, then known as ‘Girl with Balloon’, was sold at Sotheby’s in October 2018. Just as an anonymous European buyer made the winning bid, a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy came to life, leaving half the canvas hanging on the wall. frame in strips.
Sotheby’s says the work created in the stunt is “the ultimate Banksy piece of art”.
Never confirming his full identity, Banksy began his career painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world’s best-known artists. His mischievous and often satirical images include two kissing male police officers, armed riot police with smiley yellow faces, and a chimpanzee holding a sign that reads, “Smile now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”
Several of his works have sold for multi-million dollar auctions. In March, a Banksy mural honoring British health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold for £16.8 million ($23.2 million) at a Christie’s auction, a record for the artist.
“Girl With Balloon” was originally stenciled on a wall in East London and has been reproduced endlessly, making it one of Banksy’s best-known images.