Love is in the Bin

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Love Is in the Bin
Girl with Balloon
Love is in the Bin.jpg
ArtistBanksy Edit this on Wikidata
Mediumaerosol paint, acrylic paint, canvas, board
Dimensions101 cm (40 in) × 78 cm (31 in) × 18 cm (7.1 in)
Preceded byCivilian Drone Strike
Followed byValentine's Banksy

Love is in the Bin is a 2018 art intervention by Banksy at Sotheby's London, with an unexpected self-destruction of his 2006 painting of Girl with Balloon immediately after it was sold at auction for a record £1,042,000. According to Sotheby's, it is "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."[1] The painting has been on permanent loan to the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart since March 2019.[2]

Original work[edit]

The painting is an adaptation of Banksy's 2002 mural Girl with Balloon, rare as a unique work rather than a print. It was given by him to a friend shortly after the "Barely Legal" exhibition in 2006.[3] Banksy has said he prepared the self-destruct mechanism at this time in case the work was ever put up for auction.[4]

Auction and self-destruction[edit]

Sotheby's London sold the painting at auction on 5 October 2018, at an artist-record price of £1,042,000 (then equivalent to US$1,366,672 or €1,184,360).[5] Within seconds of the gavel drop, the canvas began sliding out of the bottom of the frame and shredding itself to the audible sound of a siren and the surprise exclamations of attendees. The shredder stopped when the canvas was about half-way through; Banksy has said this stop was unplanned and that he intended to shred the entire thing.[6] The work was housed in a deep frame and was plugged in to facilitate built-in electrical lights,[citation needed] which powered the hidden paper shredder as well. Sotheby's said they had no foreknowledge of the mechanism.[7]

After the shredding, there was a negotiation with the buyer to confirm the sale, and on 11 October it was agreed that the sale would go through at the original price. The work was renamed by Banksy's representatives from Girl with Balloon to Love is in the Bin. Market watchers speculated that the self-destruction would increase the artwork's value.[8] Sotheby's released a statement that called it "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction".[7][9]

It was reported that the artist uploaded a video of the event onto Instagram, showing the construction of the shredding mechanism and frame, but deleted the post.[10] Banksy has released another video indicating that the painting was intended to be shredded completely, showing the painting being shredded with the words: "In rehearsals it worked every time".[6][11]


It has been speculated that a man seen filming the shredding was Banksy or someone connected to him.[12][13]

Shortly after the auction, Josh Gilbert, an artist and blacksmith, noted what he thought were a number of inconsistencies with the work shredding itself.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Latest Banksy Artwork 'Love is in the Bin' Created Live at Auction". Sotheby's Inc. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Stuttgarter Staatsgalerie: Banksys Schredderbild kommt dauerhaft nach Stuttgart". Stuttgarter Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Contemporary Art Evening Auction – Banksy – Girl with Balloon". Sotheby's. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  4. ^ Banksy (6 October 2018). ""The urge to destroy is also a creative urge" – Picasso". Instagram. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  5. ^ Gina Martinez (6 October 2018). "'It Appears We Just Got Banksy-ed.' Art Piece Self Destructs After Being Sold for Over $1 Million". Time. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Banksy video shows plan to shred entire Girl With Balloon artwork". The Guardian. 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b Busby, Mattha (11 October 2018). "Woman who bought shredded Banksy artwork will go through with purchase". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Banksy renames shredded painting Love Is In the Bin as work sells to winning bidder after a week of negotiation". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  9. ^ Kinsella, Eileen (11 October 2018). "Banksy Authenticates and Renames His Shredded $1.4 Million Painting—Which the Buyer Plans to Keep". artnet.
  10. ^ "Woman to keep shredded £1m Banksy". BBC News. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Banksy suggests self-destruct stunt didn't go as planned". CNN. 18 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Who's the mystery man who films at Banksy prank auction?". Sky News.
  13. ^ "Banksy's 'Girl with Balloon' sale is confirmed – and it's got a new name". CNN. 11 October 2018.
  14. ^ "According To This Fan Theory, Banksy Shredding Iconic Painting Might Actually Be A Huge Prank". Retrieved 13 October 2018.

External links[edit]