Banksy’s Love is in the Bin, 2018 (Estimate £4-6 million)
Banksy’s Love is in the Bin, 2018 (Estimate £4-6 million)

Shredded Banksy Sells for Record-Breaking £18.6 Million / $25.4 Million in Return to Sotheby’s

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*9 Bidders in the Room, Online & Over the Phone Chased the Work for 10 Minutes** 

**Triple Its £6 Million High Estimate*

Sale Marks Nearly Three Years to the Date Since the Work, Formerly Girl with Balloon, Shredded at New Bond Street in Unexpected Piece of Performance Art
& Set at Record for the Artist at the Time at £1 Million

“It is almost three years to the day since one of the most ingenious moments of performance art this century made auction history. It has been a whirlwind to follow the journey of this now legendary piece and to have it back in our midst, offering it tonight in the very room it was created by the artist. Banksy is no stranger to making headlines and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations across the world – we can only begin to guess what might come next.”

Alex Branczik, Chairman of Modern & Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Asia

Passing through a hidden shredder just seconds after the hammer fell, the “nation’s favourite artwork” Girl with Balloon seemingly auto-destructed while hanging on the wall in Sotheby’s packed auction room on 5 October 2018 in London. Capturing the world by surprise, this unexpected piece of performance art became instant art history, marking the first time a new work had been created during the course of an auction. In the days that followed, the shredded artwork was granted a new certificate and date by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and given the new title, Love is in the Bin. The collector who had placed the record £1 million winning bid on Girl with Balloon decided to keep the new work.*

Hailed as “Banksy’s greatest work” by The Guardian and the subject of a BBC prediction that it “will come to be seen as one of the most significant artworks of the early 21st Century”, Love is in the Bin sparked over 30,000 global news stories and swiftly became a cultural phenomenon.

Love is in the Bin firmly fits into the long history of anti-art, from Marcel Duchamp’s anonymous submission of Fountain, a porcelain urinal remounted on a pedestal in 1917; to Robert Rauschenberg who erased a pencil drawing by Willem de Kooning and re-titled the work, Erased de Kooning Drawing; to Ai Wei Wei who destroyed an alleged Han Dynasty urn, photographing himself intentionally dropping it to probe the wider question of what we see as valuable.

Banksy is no stranger to Sotheby’s New Bond Street – some fourteen years earlier, in 2004, Banksy secretly stencilled a gangsta rat on the gallery wall during the exhibition preview of Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy sale.

*During Sotheby’s auction, Girl with Balloon (as the painting was then known) sold for £1 million / $1.4 million (est. £200,000-300,000), an auction record for the artist at the time. 

Full details on the work can be found here

As Part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Which Has Seen:
New and Sought-After Names in Contemporary Art 100% Sold So Far

Etel Adnan (Auction Record) | Hilary Pecis | Avery Singer

Flora Yukhnovich (Auction Record) | Salman Toor | Ewa Juszkiewicz (Auction Record) 

A full press release including a full list of auction records will be distributed after the close of the sale.

Follow Us on Twitter @sothebys for live auction updates.

#LoveIsInTheBin #SothebysContemporary

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