When Banksy remotely shredded his “Girl with Balloon” during a Sotheby’s auction earlier this month, it was both surprising and unsurprising. While the act itself shocked at the time, in hindsight, it lines up perfectly with the mysterious artist’s MO. The only hitch being the destruction stuffing up halfway through. Now, Banksy has released a behind-the-scenes video, showing exactly how the shredding should have worked.
In the video, we see a person (presumably Banksy) constructing the picture frame from scratch — shredder included — before transitioning to the Sotheby’s action, complete with candid recordings.
A framed canvas version of Girl with Balloon by Banksy, just sold at London auction house Sotheby's. The moment the work was sold, a hidden device in the work's frame activated, sucking a little over a third of the print through a shredder mounted in the bottom.Read more
Eventually, the picture is sold, after which the destruction begins. Unfortunately for Banksy (and one could argue the person who purchased it), the shredding gets stuck half to two-thirds of the way through.
This wasn’t meant to happen. If you jump to the 2:37-mark of the clip, you’ll see the frame and shredder working perfectly, which makes you wonder what precisely went wrong.