Banksy’s Bemusing, Possibly Cynical Shredding at Sotheby’s

Banksy’s Bemusing, Possibly Cynical Shredding at Sotheby’s

https://youtu.be/4IcIzeArIkU

There’s a lot of speculation about why Banks did this, and what it means. I’m not sure yet that there’s any one meaning to the work, but I’m intrigued by the larger possibilities behind the concept.

If Banksy wanted to “prank” the fine art world, it backfired, in a way, because the likelihood is that it’s worth more money shredded. This includes the possibility of the thing continuing through the frame shredder at some point. It transitioned from 2D art to conceptual art, and there’s plenty of that which doesn’t have a specific and discrete physical form. All this attention has undoubtedly increased its value for the buyer, and brought massive publicity to both Banksy and Sotheby’s. It’s not really tweaking the wealthy fine art community as much as fostering it.

On the other hand, Banksy may know what he’s doing, that all this would result in increased value, which is more cynical and that’s disheartening. It’s interesting as another in a series of “why is a thing worth this much?” works, but I’m not sure that goes very far. If the thing dissolved completely, that’d be a better way of bringing it full concept: what’s the resale value of a painting that no longer exists, sans documentation?

The main value, I think, is that I’ll have to think about this some more.

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