Nearly three years after street artist Banksy stunned the world by shredding his 2006 painting "Girl with Balloon" in a Sotheby’s auction, that instantly-iconic and nearly-destroyed piece is headed back to the bidding block.
After an international tour making stops in galleries from London to Hong Kong, "Love is in the Bin" will once again be auctioned via Sotheby’s London location on Oct. 14.
The story behind the infamous piece started on October 4, 2018. A shredding device installed in a Victorian-style frame caused the painting to partially self-destruct as soon as it was sold, stunning auction spectators and shaking the world. Some conspired that Sotheby’s was in on the secret, but both Banksy and Sotheby’s denied any collusion.
“During that memorable night, Banksy did not so much destroy an artwork by shredding it, but instead created one” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s Chairman of Contemporary and Modern Art, is quoted in a press release.
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Now half-shredded, the painting features a girl reaching for a red balloon. Only the top portion, consisting of the top of the girl’s hair and the balloon, remains intact within the frame.
Retitled as Love is in the Bin and certified by Pest Control, Banksy’s personal authentication team, this piece will be on display in Sotheby’s New Bond Street gallery in London for two days beginning Sept. 4 at noon. It will then make its way to Hong Kong, Taipei, New York, and finally back to London.
The artwork will ultimately be auctioned by Sotheby’s on Oct. 14 and is estimated to sell for between £4 and 6 million ($5.5 and 8.2 million), approximately four times its previous selling price of £1.37 million.
Banksy, one of street art’s most notorious enfants terribles, has consistently moved the art world with his recognizable anti-art for decades.
Adding to the intrigue surrounding his persona and powerful pieces, Banksy’s identity has never officially been confirmed. His past work includes 2015 temporary theme park “Dismaland,” dubbed “the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction,” as well as the Walled Off Hotel on the Gaza Strip, and countless other heavily political and provoking pieces.
"Love is in the Bin" is one of the 21st century’s most famous pieces of performance art. Leaning into the Dadaist movement of commodification and absurdity, Banksy successfully made a statement within the fine art market.
Learn more about the piece and the upcoming auction via sothebys.com.