Books & Art

That Shredded Banksy Is Probably Worth Double Its Original Price

"Girl With Balloon" sold for $1.4 million, but it's worth even more money in shreds.
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Two Fridays ago, street artist and art troll Banksy destroyed a version of his famous "Girl with Balloon" graffiti work immediately after it was auctioned off for a cool $1.4 million. This week, the anonymous buyer announced that she plans to hang onto the shredded picture—which isn’t really surprising given that art appraisers estimate that it’s worth twice as much money shredded as it was whole.

Since Banksy’s clever bit of performance art transformed it into a new work, the piece formerly known as "Girl with Balloon" also has a new name—"Love is in the Bin." And "Love is in the Bin" is now likely worth at least $2.8 million. This is because the original piece was one version of a work that Banksy has reproduced many times, while "Love is in the Bin" is totally unique. According to Salon art writer Noah Charney:

Banksy was doing something that has not been discussed yet, and that is transforming a spray-painting, which Banksy makes by simply spraying through a stencil, and for which there are multiple versions of any one painting (making it effectively more like a print than a one-off painting in the traditional sense), into a unique work. By definition, works that appear as multiples in a series are of less value than unique works, because they are less rare — there are X number of them, instead of just one.

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"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked," said the woman who purchased the work. "But gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history."

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Gabrielle Bruney
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