Lot’s of people have shared their theories about the event. Was Banksy in the crowd? Was Sotheby’s involved in the stunt? Did the shredding mean the painting was now more expensive?
Despite the controversy, Sotheby’s have confirmed the sale. “The new work has been granted a certificate by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body, and has been given a new title, ‘Love is in the Bin,’ ” Sotheby’s said in a statement Thursday.
The winning bidder, identified only as a female European collector and long-standing Sotheby’s client, has confirmed her “decision to acquire the new work that was created that night.”
The purchase price remained the same – tying the artist’s previous record set in 2008.
Bansky shocked the art world recently by setting up one of his works to self-destruct upon sale
Josh Gilbert, an artist and blacksmith from Chicago, has some serious doubts. Presenting his theory with impressive attention to detail, his arguments about something being fishy with the accepted version of events certainly carry some weight. “What piqued my interest was really the appearance of the device in his video,” Josh explained. “I’m a maker, so the way it was presented as being constructed struck a sour note with me. I re-watched it several times, and looked at stills, and it just didn’t make sense as a machine designed to shred a painting.”
“I’m also a magician, and when I started looking at it as a performance rather than a documentation, that’s when it really clicked.”
Being an artist himself, specializing in metal sculpture and modernized ‘art nouveau’ style wrought iron, Josh can appreciate the brilliance of Banksy, even if he’s not convinced by this particular stunt. “I still think Banksy is a great artist, and I would definitely not call my theory “facts” at this point,” he told us. “It just seemed like a very fitting conclusion. I think Banksy is ultimately a performance artist and he’s doing a lot to stretch and expand what that means in popular culture.”
“That said, if it had been me trying to pull this kind of hoax, I like to think I’d do a bit of a better job covering it up. But maybe that’s all part of the performance? He wants to keep us guessing and talking about it, and he’s certainly done that!”
But Chicago-based artist Josh Gilbert had some doubts about the much-publicised stunt
Who knows? No matter what you think about the stunt, there’s more to this story, that’s for sure.
As for the new buyer of the work, she's pretty happy:
"When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history," she said, according to the auction house.
"Love is in the Bin" will be on view to the public in Sotheby's New Bond Street galleries in London on Saturday and Sunday.
"Banksy didn't destroy an artwork in the auction, he created one," Alex Branczik, Sotheby's Head of Contemporary Art, Europe, said in a statement, calling it "the first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction."
The auction house insisted it didn't know anything about the stunt.
"I wouldn't put it past Banksy to have staged the whole thing, and I wouldn't put it past him to have pulled this off without anyone being on it," Brooklyn-based street art curator RJ Rushmore told CNN.