The mechanism was activated just after the painting was sold at Sotheby's for over £1 million

Artist Banksy posted a video on Instagram explaining his shredding stunt at Sothbey’s in London on October 5. “A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting. In case it was ever put up for auction,” he wrote in the caption.

The video reveals how the artist installed a shredder into the frame and shows how the device was activated after the painting was sold for £860,000 (more than £1 million including buyer's premium). The canvas was cut into strips as a result. It remains unknown how the shredder was triggered and who did it, the website Meduza reports.

View this post on Instagram

. "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge" - Picasso

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

Banksy built the shredder into a version of one of his most famous works – Girl with Balloon. According to the description on Sotheby’s website, the painting was created in 2006 with spray paint and acrylic. It is unknown if action house staff members were aware of Banksy’s plans to destroy the painting. “It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art in Europe.

Subscribe to our mailing list: