See Banksy Reveal How He Made Shredder Frame for Infamous Art Stunt

On the Sotheby's website, the work was still listed as having sold at £1.04 million at the time this story was published.

On Instagram, Banksy revealed he had secretly built a hidden shredder into the frame of the painting years ago, in case it was ever auctioned off.

Banksy posted a video Saturday on his Instagram page accompanied by a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso - "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge" - showing the stunt unfolding and how he pulled it off.

The auction price of $1.4 million for the spray paint and acrylic on canvas Girl with Balloon tied the artist's previous record set in 2008. But when the Dismaland website crashed in response to high ticket demand, the disappointment lived up to the "bemusement" park's name when people were convinced it was all part of his art. In 2006, he released an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantánamo Bay prisoner at Disneyland in California.

The Art Newspaper's correspondent Anny Shaw, who was in the auction room, said that while the shredding may have been an "inside job" it certainly looked like a surprise.

His new stunt, perhaps his most tangible critique of the art market yet, has instantly become the talk of the United Kingdom art world.

"I keep waiting for him to be irrelevant and then he goes and does something like that", King said.

"He is arguably the greatest British street artist, and tonight we saw a little piece of Banksy genius".

It might now be worth "more than two million euros", he suggested.

Joey Syer of MyArtBroker told the Daily Mail that with the result of the auction and the stunt by Banksy, along with all the media attention it received, the winning bidder may see a huge return on the money he or she paid for the painting. "It was meant to be a criticism of the art market, and I think it's going to double the value of the work". "They check everything", he said.

It's unclear if Sotheby's was in on the artist's intent to destroy the work.

Last week's self-destruction was the latest in a long history of anti-establishment statements by the street artist.

Despite his success and growing prominence, Banksy has managed to keep his identity a closely guarded secret. "The king stays the king", Gastman said.

One of Banksy's works on the Israeli West Bank wall.

"You could argue that the work is now more valuable ..." English asked. "He's created this really unique situation for himself". According to a report in The Verge, "it was covered up for many years before it was removed in 2014 and sold at auction the following year".

On Friday, a Banksy painting titled "Girl with Red Balloon" was being auctioned at Sotheby's in London.

  • Jacqueline Ellis