Popular artist Banksy, who stunned auctiongoers earlier this month when his painting that sold for $1.4 million was shredded right before their eyes, said he intended for the piece to be completely destroyed.
The “Girl With Balloon” painting shredded after it was sold on Oct. 5 at Sotheby’s in London. Banksy noted that when he built the shredder into the frame he intended it to ruin the entire piece but the actual painting was only partially shredded on the day of the prank.
In a video the anonymous artist shared, he showed himself rehearsing the stunt beforehand.
The buyer of the painting, who hasn’t been identified, still decided to go through with the purchase after the incident. The painting was then renamed “Love Is in the Bin,” Sotheby’s representatives said.
"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” the buyer said.
Sotheby’s has said that they knew nothing about the prank.
“The work was not completed until 9 something p.m. on Friday 5 October. This is the artwork that Banksy intended, it was designed to be like this,” Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe, said in a statement.
Banksy is most known for a series of notable pieces of graffiti throughout England. His identity is a secret.
This isn’t the first time he’s pulled a prank. In 2005, he hung an image of a spear-holding ancient human pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum. It stayed there for several days before anyone noticed.
The next year, he placed a life-sized figure of a Guantanamo Bay detainee inside of Disneyland.