Banksy's Shredded Art

Banksy's Shredded Art

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Updated Feb 05, 2019 at 07:25AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Oct 10, 2018 at 09:51AM EDT by Adam.

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Banksy's Shredded Art refers to parodies of a prank pulled by prolific street artist Banksy in which he rigged one of his pieces, Girl With Balloon, to be shredded by a device in the piece's frame should it ever be sold at auction. The piece sold and the shredder succeeded in damaging half the painting. The image of the half-shredded piece was parodied in political cartoons and jokes in which the painting was replaced with different people and objects.


On October 5th, 2018, a Banksy original titled "Girl With Balloon" was sold at auction for 860,000 pounds at Sotheby's, a large broker of decorative fine art and jewelry in London. The moment it was sold, a self-destruct mechanism built into the print's frame activated, shredding the painting.

That day, Banksy posted to Instagram a photo of the moment, with the caption, "going, going, gone," gaining over 1 million likes (shown below).

banksy # . Follow banksy Going, going, gone... Load more comments melgosh_batuhan 1, 1.4, 1.4million.... hosseinabdi_official Now it's worth two million dollars paulcamuso Why is the top of the head in the frame not matching up with the shredded body? It's like the image shifted to the right when it shredded. genevieve_ b Brilliant 1,007,546 likes Sotheby's 2 DAYS AGO heby's Add a comment...

The following day, Banksy posted a video to Instagram explaining how he pulled off the prank (shown below).


After the stunt got popular, social media users and political cartoonists parodied the moment by replacing Girl With Balloon with other objects and people. Many of the parodies had a political bent. For example, political cartoonist Sean Delonas published a political cartoon of donkeys representing left-leaning Supreme Court Justices looking at a picture of Brett Kavanaugh being shredded through a frame labeled "Supreme Court" (shown below, left).[1] Twitter user @LeahMcElrath posted a joke wherein the painting was replaced with the United States Constitution, gaining over 110 retweets and 280 likes (shown below, right).

com REPUTATION Vote November 6th @leahmcelrath Follow Like Banksy but real:

Others made variations on the joke with less political ends. Some examples include a tweet by @joophazenberg showing potatoes being shredded to fries, gaining over 60 retweets and 190 likes (shown below, left). Instagram user seinpop made the joke with a painting of Kramer from Seinfeld, getting over 9,100 likes (shown below, right). Jokes were covered by The Washington Post.[1] Additionally, BoingBoing[2] hosted a generator where one could upload their art and give it the same effect as the shredding prank.

Joop Hazenberg @joophazenberg Follow Banksy is Belgian @SEINPOP

Various Examples

Tom Phillips Follow @tomphillipsin Banksy's Brazil: this doing the rounds on social media among Brazilians mourning Bolsonaro's resounding first round triumph Jayme Sifuentes @jaymesifuentes ( Follow ) Cartón de SIFUENTES ¿ Y la #austeridad republicana?- @LibreriaRius @El Chamuco #Caricaturade!Dia #humor #Mexico Conservando la tradición ASUINALDo, EXTRAS,

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