Banksy's $1.4M "There is Always Hope" Self-Destructs

Is this a commentary on commercialism or the end of hope?

The great street artist Banksy made a painting and gifted it to someone. It was of the girl with a red balloon. “There is always hope.”

The receiver of the gift decided to sell it in an auction.

Bidding rises to 1 million pounds ($1.4 million). At the moment the auction was final, their was some beeping sound, and then a shredder hidden in the frame destroyed the painting. Watch the video. It is priceless.

It seems the shredded painting might be worth more than before it was shredded.

The picture’s destruction, like that of Tinguely’s machine, was halted before the job was complete, and there is already speculation that the work in damaged form will become even more valuable than it was before. If the stunt was intended to mock the spectacle of art being reduced to a price tag, this might mean the joke is on Banksy. But since it was clearly also a bid for more notoriety—for an artist bent on maintaining anonymity, Banksy does not shy away from the limelight—a cynic might call this is his best art work yet.
The Empty Gesture in Banksy’s Self-Destructing Art Work | The New Yorker

Here is how he did it:

The moment I love most in the video Banksy has released of his latest art stunt is when a bespectacled man with the well-groomed air of an art-world professional puts his hand to his forehead in apparent disbelief at what he is seeing: a million quid being shredded. He looks genuinely frightened that the revolution has reached Mayfair and that activists are about to storm Sotheby’s, where Banksy’s framed picture Girl With Balloon has just mechanically self-destructed – shortly after going under the hammer for a little more than £1m.
Why putting £1m through the shredder is Banksy’s greatest work | Banksy | The Guardian

1 Like

Come on, there is no way Sotheby’s is not in on it. Sotheby’s had this piece for years before the auction; there is no way they did not notice a giant shredder mounted in the frame.


The question I’m asking is whehter, if it turned out to be a fake Banksy only worth $10 it would be worth $14 when it self destructed?

Or what if the painting were real, but the shredder turned out to be a forgery?