Welcome to BanksyLand: Volume 3 – The Girl, the Red Balloon, the Trash Can and the Boat

It’s been four years since Banksy began shredding one of his most famous works, 2002’s deceptively simple Girl with Balloon, and yet the international gallery world and its aristocracy are in shock at the one of the most ingenious moments in performance art and auction history.

“Banksy is no stranger to making headlines and this latest chapter in his story has captured imaginations across the world – we can only begin to guess what might happen next,” said Banksy Chairman Alex Branczik. modern and contemporary art at Sotheby’s Asia, Great Britain. The Guardian newspaper.

Certainly, there have been artistic stunts in the past. The work of the ultimate installationist Cristo. The presentation of a urinal as a work of art which was Marcel Duchamp’s business card. The reinvention by art pranksters Eva and Franco Mattes of the Vatican website, passed off as their own work tickled the senses. Virtually everything sculptor Jeff Koons has ever produced seems like a farce. Destroying works of art is a surefire way to attract attention while making a serious political, social and aesthetic point of view.

That Banksy, of course, took it to another level and that his almost obliterated work is auctioned off for nearly $25 million is historic and histrionic.

An adaptation of Banksy’s 2002 mural Girl with Balloon, one of his rare paintings as opposed to a print, was exhibited in 2006. Close to his heart, Banksy, Eveb then began to think of a self-destruct mechanism to destroy his painting. in case his valuable work is ever auctioned.

When it finally went up for auction in 2018, at its highest price yet – of £1,042,000, the equivalent of US$1,366,672 – seconds after the hammer fell, the canvas Girl with Balloon began to slide off the bottom grip of its frame and shred into thin strips – as a siren wailed and auction participants screeched. The shredder stopped when the web was halfway through the self-destruction process; a stoppage that was not planned because Banksy’s intention was to shred his balloon girl, thoroughly and once and for all. Claiming ignorance of Banksy’s radical intentions, Sotheby’s claimed they had no knowledge of the mechanism or the artist’s anger. [7] Banksy’s representatives, Pest Control, eventually disabled the chipper, but the mechanics remained in frame and the job seemed lost forever.

That is, until “the first work of art in history to be created live at an auction” comes up for auction. In October 2021, the renowned and ruined work, Love is in the Bin, sold at auction for £18.5 million, or nearly $24 million, another record for the artist. Unthinkable, but true, the value of Banksy had multiplied many times over in a form of rebirth.

“Internationally, this event sent shockwaves through a room full of elite shoppers,” said Britt Reyes, One Thousand Ways representative and BanksyLand tour guide. “People can’t even afford to sit down at Sotheby’s, let alone buy something, and it was the best auctions this season. So imagine how fantastic it was to see this piece sell for $1.4 million – and as soon as the hammer hits the podium, it begins to self-destruct, bottom to top, without anyone in the room or backstage knowing it was going to happen. Banksy knew it.When it got stuck in the shredder and someone pulled it out, it was then recreated as this brand new work of art which, shortly after its rather salty purchase, resells for 24 Think of the psychological profile of the elitists who could afford such work at that price – so this artist spends years developing a real device, a contraption that will destroy his own work because he didn’t want them Then they all turn around and buy it nt for millions and millions more.

Reyes goes on to punctuate his rant by saying “that’s rich. It’s silly. It’s fascinating” before imagining the psychological profile of the artist and his sidekick.

“Banksy is an artist whose fans take to the streets and make abandoned buildings their milieu and then there are the wealthy who have their own environment – ​​few artists have that range of appreciators and admirers.” It’s prolific… so is his response, this ability to layer these images on top of each other to call, inspire and offer hope, all simultaneously to different groups of people, relaying and conveying different messages to each . It is extremely deep.

The scope of the girl with a balloon metaphor is extended to Banksy’s Girls Holding an Umbrella – meant to protect us while drowning in reference to Hurricane Katrina. And the multimedia event at BanksyLand, the Louise Michel.

Named after the beloved anarchist, Banksy’s work is part of a French navy ship rescuing North African refugees, lost souls crossing the Mediterranean to find safety in Europe. Banksy bought a decommissioned French navy boat with a fire extinguisher, sprayed the exterior with pink paint and adorned it with a version of the iconic “Girl with Balloon”. This iteration equips the child with a life jacket and replaces the red heart with a pink colored flotation device. But his legend is deeper.

“It still suffocates me,” Reyes says. “When Banksy buys the boat and ties it to his iconic young daughter searching for a balloon, she now searches for a heart… shaped like an out-of-reach safety buoy, representing the children who lost their lives in the sea Mediterranean while seeking asylum in war-torn countries. He did so after learning that several children had perished in these waters while fleeing from war-torn countries with neighboring countries that would not allow them to Banksy uses it, in partnership with Sea Watch, to rescue women and children and provide them with a safe shore. help fund – 100% of proceeds – to help build camps and contributes to shelter programs to move into new homes in. The orange material that spells out ‘welcome’ on the mats is the material for life vests. rescue stranded on shore…. bodiless… devoid of the bodies that once carried them. Suddenly, Girl with a Balloon, in this new setting, is tragically the most sadly poignant piece in BanksyLand.