Banksy Pulls Shocking Prank After His Photo Sells

The artwork was shredded moment after going under the hammer for $1.7m

So it's not entirely surprising that one of his most famous paintings, Girl With Balloon, selfdestructed after selling for more than $1.86 million at a Sotheby's auction in London.

No one knows how the secretive artist activated a shredder hidden within the frame of his painting "Girl with Balloon" just after it was sold last week by Sotheby's for £1,042,000 (US$1.4 million, 1.2 million euros).

After Saturday's stunt, he borrowed a quote from Picasso and wrote on Instagram: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge". The moment the gavel went down to confirm the sale, the painting started slipping down its in frame and half of the artwork hung in shredded tatters [VIDEO].

The anonymous street artist known only as Banksy has seemingly trolled the art world in the most spectacular fashion.

"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked", she said in a statement, "but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history".

'I subsequently heard there had been reports of a skirmish between security staff and a man dressed in black and sunglasses exiting the building.

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Sotheby's claimed to have been surprised by Friday's auction prank, but some art experts have questioned how it was possible to pull it off without their knowledge.

Branczik said he was "not in on the ruse", according to The Art Newspaper. "In case it was ever put up for auction ..." the text reads after the brief demonstration.

Professor Young also suspects that Sotheby's and potentially both the buyer and seller were in on the joke. Now we discuss the next steps.

Banksy is a Bristol-born artist whose true identity - despite rampant speculation - has never been officially revealed.

His "Happy Choppers" from 2006 fetched $735,000 also on Friday at a NY auction of personal effects owned by the late actor Robin Williams and his wife. In 2017, Girl with Balloon originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London and was voted the nation's favourite artwork. English cited Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased De Kooning Drawing" - where the artist bought and obliterated the work of a peer - as somewhat of a precedent for Banksy's actions.

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