Owner Of $40k Banksy Print Shreds It, Destroying Value Instantly

In other words, here's one easy way to lose $40k in a single minute.

Banksy's art-shredding stunt was worldwide news this week, and the copycats have come out to play. In case you haven't heard, this is what happened:


Moments after a Banksy print sold at a Sotheby's auction this week for around $1.4 million, the piece found itself being pulled through a shredder hidden by Banksy himself years earlier in the bottom of the large gilded frame. Don't feel bad for the buyer - art experts estimate that the stunt may have doubled the value instantly.



Banksy is no doubt a genius troll, but not all his fans "get" him (or "get" the ins and outs of the fine art world, apparently). Shortly after footage of the Sotheby's event went viral, art experts started getting calls from owners of other Banksy prints who wanted to shred them to increase the value. According to My Art Broker, "We've had a number of Banksy print owners contact us today asking if they shred their artwork will it be worth more. Please, Please DON'T. The events of the last 24hrs are a very unique piece of art history." Obviously, it only counts if Banksy himself does it.



Well, they tried to warn us, but someone went and did it anyway. Art Broker soon received a seller inquiry from someone who'd sliced up a $40,000 print with a stanley knife to mimic the lines of the shredder, diminishing its value to an estimated $1. Yikes.


"The item in question is one of a numbered edition of 600 “unsigned” prints which in mint condition will easily fetch a price of £40,000. The seller of this item requested we list the print for a minimum of £80,000. We think not."


The art world is wild, and crazy bold actions can change values dramatically. Unfortunately for this copycat, his ill-advised stunt has cost him about $40,000 in a day. That's gotta hurt. My Art Broker has obviously refused to list the amateur-destroyed print, adding that they "just can’t believe the stupidity involved and the opportunistic vandalism."


Ouch. Ian Syer, Co-Founder of My Art Broker, summed up the whole issue nicely:


“Banksy is unique to the art world. No other artist captures the hearts and minds of the public like he does. However, when Banksy does something crazy like shredding his own artwork, it will naturally have a dramatic affect on values. What this person today seems to have done is needlessly ruin a print worth around £40k and reduce its value to almost nothing. We strongly recommend nobody else takes valuable art and tries to cash in on what history will judge a simply brilliant stunt. There are limited numbers of Girl With Balloon prints in the world, today, we lost one and it’s a crying shame.”


So there you have it. Buy nice art if you can, but for the love of god please don't try to double it's value overnight by slicing it up with a knife. Unless you're Banksy himself. Then go for it, buddy.

By Gloria Borger / Wednesday 10 October 2018 10:12 / United States
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  buzzkill  |  5

It was so dumb of the copycat. He had it shredded to add to the meaning of self destruction. Any other pieces of his artwork wouldn’t make sense to shred. It pisses me off that people can have all that money to buy artwork but don’t actually understand it.


Your perception of art is subjective. I actually read that he installed shredders randomly to destroy any prints that may go to auction, because that wasn’t what he ever intended for his pieces. I don’t think we’ll ever know his true intentions tbh.