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    The Balloon Girl, the tattered Banksy back under the hammer


    The work, the partial self-destruction of which caused a sensation three years ago, is estimated at between 4 and 6 million pounds sterling by Sotheby’s.

    Auctioned Thursday 14 October in London, The Balloon Girl, a work by the artist Banksy whose partial self-destruction caused a sensation three years ago, is about to fly away during a sale at Sotheby’s. This version of The Balloon Girl, renamed Love is in the trash (Love is in the Bin), is estimated at between 4 and 6 million pounds sterling (between 4.6 and 7 million euros), depending on the auction house. The expected price, likely to be exceeded, is four to six times higher than that which had been reached during the original sale to an anonymous collector, who is preparing to carry out a very fine operation.

    The work’s last appearance at an auction in 2018 had caused amazement around the world. No sooner had the hammer sounded when a crusher concealed in the frame had shredded the lower half of the canvas, which depicts a little girl releasing a red heart-shaped balloon, leaving only the balloon intact. White background. With this resounding action, which had caused a real earthquake in the art world, the street artist aimed to denounce the “commodification” of art.

    SEE ALSO – Banksy: in 2018, the mysterious follower of the buzz struck a big blow


    The “most spectacular artistic happening of the 21st century”

    In its press release announcing the sale, Sotheby’s described the destruction of “The most spectacular artistic happening of the 21st century”, placing it in the“Legacy of anti-establishment art that began with (movement) Dada and Marcel Duchamp ”. “During this surrealist evening three years ago, I accidentally became the privileged owner of Love is in the trash, recalled the buyer, quoted in the Sotheby’s press release announcing the sale, “But now is the time to part with it”.

    Even before this global notoriety, The Balloon Girl, which first appeared in 2002 as stenciled graffiti on a wall on London’s South Bank, had previously been named Britain’s favorite work of art. Friday, a diptych version of The Balloon Girl will be auctioned, also in the British capital, this time at Christie’s. Produced in 2005, the canvas in two parts is estimated between 2.5 and 3.5 million pounds sterling (between 2.9 and 4.1 million euros).

    Since this stroke of brilliance, Banksy has panicked auctions where his works are reaching records. Last March, Game Changer, a canvas honoring caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic, had sold at Christie’s for 16.75 million pounds (19.5 million euros). Banksy became known for a series of graffiti appearing on buildings. The Bristol-born artist, who maintains the mystery of his identity, likes to provoke and give food for thought. In 2005, he made the graffiti The flower thrower on a wall in Jerusalem, depicting a masked protester about to throw a bouquet of flowers. The artist also uses his graffiti bomb to demonstrate his opposition to Brexit, his support for migrants, or to warn of the climate emergency.


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