A Banksy piece that self-destructed during a 2018 Sotheby’s auction in London is going back on the block, in all its disheveled and deliberately destroyed glory. “Girl with a Balloon” (2006) made headlines when a shredder embedded in its frame automatically started slicing the painting into strips as soon as the hammer went down at a bid of £953,829 (~$1,251,423).
Right up there with Maurizio Cattelan’s “Banana” in Hyperallergic’s internal archive of tacky art world gimmicks, the incident prompted days of insufferable, boring, and useless questions, like “is it more valuable now?” (An irony, since Banksy admitted to orchestrating the whole thing as a prank on the high-end art market.) In keeping with auction houses’ tendency of inventing and claiming to break inane records no one previously cared about, Sotheby’s boasted the sale as “the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself.”
Other versions of the work, which features the anonymous artist’s iconic “Girl and Balloon” imagery stenciled on his street murals, have fetched various sums at auction over the years, but the famously half-grated canvas may top the ranks. Now titled “Love is in the Bin,” the piece will be offered by Sotheby’s in London on October 14 and carries a pre-sale estimate of £4-6 million (~$5.5-8.3 million.) Here’s to hoping the piece self-destructs again and the cycle continues, until millionaires are paying fortunes for a pile of shredded fabric.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.
Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade
The Rijksmuseum’s traveling show strives to remind us that we are all, in some way, a part of this chapter of human history, whose legacy continues today.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Textured Histories at Shiprock Santa Fe
The Santa Fe gallery features Indigenous textiles and jewelry from the early 19th century to today.
Renaissance Portrait of “Ugly Duchess” Likely Depicts a Man
A curator at London’s National Gallery believes the subject of painter Quinten Massys’s painting “is most likely a he.”
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Hokusai’s “Great Wave” Makes a Splash at Auction
An edition of the iconic woodblock print broke records when it sold for $2.8M this week.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?