Story at a glance

  • The work of art titled “Love is in the Bin” was auctioned off for $25.4 million.
  • It’s a record sale for the British artist.
  • The identity of Banksy remains unknown.

Artwork created by the elusive artist Banksy that famously shredded itself during a 2018 auction just sold for a whopping $25.4 million Thursday, a record sale for the famed British street artist. 

The work of art titled “Love is in the Bin” was auctioned off at more than three times the $8 million price tag Sotheby’s estimated the painting to go for Thursday. The piece was sold to a private investor. 

The painting of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon became something of a performance piece during a previous auction in the same room several years ago. 

Banksy seemed to pull a prank on the art world by hiding a paper shredder in the painting’s frame that was activated via remote control seconds after the piece was sold for $1.4 million. 


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But the shredding of the piece didn’t go precisely as planned. The machinery malfunctioned, leaving about half the canvas hanging out the bottom of the frame in neatly cut strips. 

“Some people think it didn't really shred. It did. Some people think the auction house were [sic] in on it, they weren't,” Banksy wrote in an Instagram post at the time. 

The England-based artist has never revealed their identity.

“I can’t tell you how terrified I am to bring down the hammer,” Sotheby’s auctioneer Oliver Barker joked during the sale, according to Reuters


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Published on Oct 14, 2021