BANKSY has revealed how he shocked the world by shredding his own artwork – moments after it had sold for £1million at auction.
The Bristol-based street artist – whose identity is unknown – managed to insert a shredder into the frame of his famous ark work Girl With Balloon.
Sotheby’s in London, which bought the painting in 2006, had no idea, and have just sold the signed painting for £860,000 – with a buyer’s premium brought the price up to £1.04million.
The auction house was forced to admit it was “Banksy’ed” after the piece by the mysterious artist self destructed.
The auctioneer can be seen on the phone to the winning bidder as the painting is destroyed in front of his eyes.
On a video posted online Bansky has revealed the secret behind the “trick” – which some art experts say may have doubled the value of the work.
He says that a few years ago he secretly built a shredder into a painting, using a large frame “in case it was ever put up for auction”.
The video then shows the frenetic bidding activity as the famous work smashes the guide price and bids keep increasing.
Moments after the hammer is struck confirming the successful bid the work half shreds itself, leaving the London auction house stunned.
Video footage showed two men taking the painting away shortly after the sale, bits of the image hanging down from the bottom of the frame in strips.
**Who is Banksy? Is this the TRUE identity of the legendary street artist?**
The Bristol artist captioned his video: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
Co-founder of MyArtBroker, Joey Syer, told MailOnline: “The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.02million they paid last night.
“This is now part of art history in its shredded state and we’d estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50 per cent increase to it’s value, possibly as high as being worth £2million plus.”
After the picture was left in tatters, Banksy posted a snap on Instagram of shocked art lovers at the auction house, writing: “Going, going gone…”
“It was planned for years”
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art, told a press conference: “We’ve just been Banksy’ed.
“He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius.”
Sotheby’s said this was “certainly” the first time a work of art started to shred itself after coming under the hammer.
The artist Banksy, who is believed to be from Bristol after starting out his career in the mid-90s, has never released his identity.
Though it has been mentioned he could be Robert Del Naja – a member of band Massive Attack.
Some believe Banksy may actually be a loose collective of artists all using his trademark tag on their work.
Banksy has also previously been “unmasked” as former public schoolboy Robin Gunningham.
Daily Star Online reported unseen footage from 1995 of the artist before he rose to fame.
The BBC documentary showed Banksy with his face blurred but voice unaltered as he described his motivation behind his work.
Earlier this year a Banksy-style sculpture was discovered in Scotland – sparking rumours he had been busy at work in the area.
The striking artwork featured a concrete young girl letting go of a mine-shaped balloon fixed to a grey stand.