Saville painting sets auction record for a living female artist

The interior of the Banksy shredder frame taken from a frame of the video

The interior of the Banksy shredder frame taken from a frame of the video

So it's not entirely surprising that one of his most famous paintings, Girl With Balloon, selfdestructed after selling for more than $1.86 million at a Sotheby's auction in London.

It then shows a hooded figure placing the shredder into a wooden frame, before showing images of the Sotheby's auction of Balloon Girl - and the spray painting's self-destruction.

The piece was the final item in an auction held at Sotheby's in London. Banksy, a mysterious artist from Bristol, southwest England, rose to fame painting clandestine street murals, typically simple graffiti stencils with a sharp political point, all over the world.

However, some auction flipping experts claimed that Banksy's stunt would only cause the value of the shredded painting to increase by about 50 percent more, meaning Banksy might have accidentally increased the value of said painting, despite its state.

Yesterday, Banksy posted a video on his Instagram account explaining how he installed the shredder in the frame without anyone knowing.

"It appears we just got Banksy-ed", said Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London.

The auction house added: "We had no prior knowledge of this event and were not in any way involved".

Obviously, they warned people not to shred their artwork.

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Acoris Andipa, an art dealer and Banksy specialist, described the stunning shredding as "spectacularly staged" and a "brilliant comment on the art market".

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. Sotheby's would not reveal the name of the buyer of the work but, according to the New York Times, confirmed that the client was a private collector who placed the winning bid with a Sotheby's staffer via the phone.

"We have talked with the successful purchaser who was surprised by the story", the auctioneers said in a statement to The Financial Times.

But, was the auction house in on the stunt?

Banksy is not the first artist to deconstruct his own work.

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

Some in the art world have even speculated that there is no Banksy - or rather, no one artist, but a collective of like-minded thinkers who each take turns being him.

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