Love Is in the Bin” is for sale again, and this time it could net over $5.5 million dollars.
Originally titled “Girl With Balloon,” the painting was a by-the-artist recreation of one of Banksy’s famous graffiti artworks, featuring exactly what it says in the title; a young girl stenciled in black spray paint on white paper, watching as her heart-shaped balloon floats away. It went up for auction at Sotheby’s in October of 2018.
Bidding was fierce, and an anonymous European donor won the auction at a brow-raising $1.4 million. But just as the gavel struck to confirm his winning bid, there was another sound. A shredder hidden in the lavish gold frame suddenly began to whir, and before anyone could do anything, the painting was half shredded, hanging from its frame in strips.
The buyer, who is rumored to have been in on the gag, went through with the purchase. And if this next auction goes through, he’ll be vindicated in that choice.
Retitled “Love Is in the Bin,” the altered work is considered to be iconic of Banksy, who, while anonymous, has made many statements about class struggle and the absurdity of wealth. To destroy a painting that had just sold for an amount most people in the world will never earn in their entire working lives is just in line with his politics. For it to sell for even more because of that destruction is probably making his entire day.
“‘Love Is in the Bin’ was born of the most spectacular artistic happening of the 21st century,” said Alex Branczik, one of Sotheby’s chairmen of art. “When ‘Girl With Balloon’ ‘self-destructed’ in our saleroom, Banksy sparked a global sensation that has since become a cultural phenomenon.”
Love’s anonymous owner has put the work on a worldwide tour ahead of its next sale, which will again be via Sotheby’s. The piece has a pre-sale estimate of between $5.5 and $8.3 million.
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