Going, Going, Gone…

David Flowney, Staff Writer

On October 5, The Sotheby Auction House’s Art Auction in London, England had multiple art pieces that were sold, but had one that stole the show. The painting named, “Girl With Balloon” was auctioned off for 1.4 million dollars.

The artist, Banksy, is an anonymous English based street artist and political activist. Banksy is known globally for street graffiti displaying the artist’s political and social views, and he has managed to keep his identity a secret for over twenty years.

The work of art, “Girl With Balloon” was created in 2002 by Banksy. It features a girl standing with a red, heart shaped balloon. The balloon is thought to represent hope, love, innocence, childhood, and self-confidence. The words, “There is always hope” is etched next to the original wall painting.

Banksy posted on his Instagram profile a video of him making a shredder to put into the frame of the painting and quoting Picasso. “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” said Banksy.

Banksy also posted a picture of his shredded painting saying, “Going, Going, Gone,” and The Sotheby Auction House did not have any immediate comments on the stunt.

Cailyn Benton, a sophomore and passionate art student at Adams High School, who admires the stunt stated, “It’s cool the artist can keep his/her integrity about the art and doesn’t care about money.”

Taken by Robert Casterline
“The Girl With The Balloon” painting by Banksy before and after the auction.

“The Girl With The Balloon” painting by Banksy before and after the auction. Taken by Robert Casterline

 The stunt, which some would call a tragedy, has not spoiled the painting. The “Girl With the Balloon” has not decreased in value, but has increased tenfold. Banksy has recently posted a video on October 18 called, “Shredding the Girl with Balloon-The Directors half cut” that details how he built the shredder and how he executed the plan inside Sotheby’s. It shows his point of view at the auction. Overall this was a very elaborate stunt and certainly shows Banksy’s creativity and thrust the piece even more into the public watch.