Banksy’s works do not stop attracting attention even after years have passed since their creation. Banksy, one of the most enigmatic artists in the world, never stops being the center of attention. It was recently reported that Girl With Balloon, a 2006 Banksy artwork that was famously shredded to pieces during an auction, was given a new title once again after already being renamed in 2018. But what was the reason for the name change back then, and why did it happen again in 2024?
The shredded Banksy artwork was recently renamed for the second time
A fine art sale at Sotheby’s London made the headlines in 2018. Right after Girl With Balloon was bought for around $1 million, the shredding mechanism in its frame went off. As a result, a million-dollar work of art was almost completely cut into vertical stripes. After the auction, Pest Control, which is authorized to authenticate Banksy’s art, renamed the painting to Love is in the Bin and re-dated it to 2018, effectively making it an entirely new work of art. This was an unprecedented case of a new piece being created right in the middle of an auction sale. The new artwork returned to Sotheby’s again in 2021, where it was sold for $25.4 million.
Six years after the famous incident, it was announced that the half-shredded painting was renamed once again. Sotheby’s was only made aware of the change last August, while it was organizing an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. The Banksy artwork is now called Girl without Balloon, and Pest Control is said to be behind it. The official body did not disclose the reasons behind the name change. As a result, one work of art now exists on the market under two different names and dates at the same time.
The name of an artwork and its date mean way more than just words and numbers on an authentication certificate. The director of private sales at Sotheby’s in Asia, Nick Buckley Wood, said that the name change possibly indicates that the “work changes status in the mind of the artist.” The second name change can also mean that Banksy has something else in store for the infamous self-destructed painting.