Latest in Gear

Image credit: Sotheby's/Banksy, Instagram

Banksy painting uses hidden shredder to destroy itself after auction

It's using technology to comment on art.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
10.06.18 in Art
7752 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Sotheby's/Banksy, Instagram

Banksy just delivered a masterclass in using technology to both create and comment on art. The mysterious artist hid a shredder in the frame for his 2006 painting Girl With Red Balloon, and when it was sold at auction for £1,042,000 (about $1.4 million)... you can probably guess what happened next. The moment the gavel came down to close bidding, the painting largely destroyed itself. Banksy didn't say much about the tech involved in a brief clip, but he clearly had a remote trigger to cut his work into ribbons.

Banksy did acknowledge installing the shredder "a few years ago" in the event the painting "was ever put up for auction." In other words, he was playing the long game and likely hid a long-lived battery (possibly lead acid) to ensure he could destroy the work well after framing it.

It's not certain who bought the painting or how they'll react to the trick. As for the meaning? That's not clear, either. The shredding certainly garnered publicity, but it could have been a statement on the value of art in high society -- people are frittering away millions at auctions when it's the significance of the art, not the physical object, that matters. If that's the case, though, there's a degree of irony in that the value of Banksy's piece might increase in its half-shredded state. How often do you see era-defining art that's designed to self-destruct?


Going, going, gone...

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
7752 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The best games for PS4

The best games for PS4

View
Moving the largest high-performance lens ever built

Moving the largest high-performance lens ever built

View
Snap's 'Project Voldemort' dossier detailed Facebook's copycat moves

Snap's 'Project Voldemort' dossier detailed Facebook's copycat moves

View
Samsung will start selling the Galaxy Fold in the US on September 27th

Samsung will start selling the Galaxy Fold in the US on September 27th

View
How to buy a soundbar in 2019

How to buy a soundbar in 2019

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr