Self-Destructive Painting


Chehel Lakhwara, Staff Writer

On October 5, a 1.4 million dollar painting ‘The Girl with a red balloon’ by British graffiti artist, Banksy, was sold at an auction in London. It was a spray painted piece which depicted a girl reaching out for a red heart shaped balloon far beyond her grasp.

It caused quite an uproar in the art world when the painting was “destroyed” moments after the hammer pounded to signify the end of the auction.

“A shredder inside the picture frame began to whirr, the canvas slid down, and at least part of it ended up in thin, vertical strips. It appears we got banksy-ed,” said the auction’s senior director Alex Branczik.

The next day the artist, Banksy, released and instagram video about how he built a paper shredder inside the canvas.

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” wrote Banksy, citing Picasso.

Now people are debating on weather the art would now be more expensive as it was before.

“You could argue that the work is more valuable,” said Branczik, “it’s certainly the first piece to be spontaneously shredded as an auction ends.”

This situation has created a lot of discussion about what counts as art and what art means.

“I think that art is a way people express themselves and they can show their creativity through it and sometimes you can’t use your voice so you can show it through art” said Aiza Khan (‘22).

“Art is a creative form of expression depending on the individual itself,” Shreyasi Das (‘21).

And many people also believe that art can be a form of anything.

“I think that it doesn’t really matter what it is, if you call it art and if it’s a way you can express yourself, then it’s considered art,” said Khan.

“I believe that art is different for everybody, it’s not that everyone likes the same type of art,” Nishtha Pal (‘22).

So it looks like that many people have mixed reviews about this incident, but one thing’s for certain, many support Banksy’s move in the art world.