The Buyer Of That Shredded Banksy Painting Decided To Keep It, And Some Think It's Worth More Now

"The piece has become the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction," said the auction house where the piece was sold for almost $1.4 million.

The buyer who paid almost $1.4 million on Saturday for a Banksy painting that then immediately shredded itself to the horror of patrons has decided to keep the work of art.

Sotheby's, the auction house that sold the work, said on Thursday that the unnamed female European collector would be “proceeding with the purchase at the same price as was achieved in the room on the night.”

Additionally, the piece itself has been given a new name.

Originally called “Girl With Balloon,” the work has been given the appellation “Love Is in the Bin,” which is fitting when you remember that just moments after being sold it was half-destroyed by a shredder hidden in the frame.

"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked," the buyer said in a statement through Sotheby's, "but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

The buyer, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, is proceeding with the purchase at the same price as was achieved in the room on the night. #LoveIsInTheBin #Banksy

In a video of the moment shared on Instagram, Banksy addressed the debacle with a quote from another well-known artist: Pablo Picasso.

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge," Banksy wrote.

The artist, whose identity has never publicly been revealed, said he built the shredder into the frame years ago in case the work was ever put up for auction.

Sotheby's denied being involved in the stunt, but described the new work of art as the first piece “in history to have been created live during an auction.”

Art dealer Offer Waterman told the New York Times this week that the work is probably worth more now than the buyer paid for it due to the massive publicity generated by the incident.

"It’s become worth more as a conceptual moment than as a work of art itself,” he said.


The Banksy work sold for almost $1.4 million when factoring in the buyer's premium. An earlier version of this post said it sold for $1.3 million.

Skip to footer