Renowned street artist Banksy may have just pulled the greatest prank in all of art history.
Just moments after it was sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s, the artist’s famous painting titled “Girl with Red Balloon” began emitting a mechanical noise before seeming to self destruct, to the shock of all onlookers.
As you can see in the following video provided by the New York Times, all witnesses were in awe of this unprecedented trick, and immediately whipped out their phones to document the moment.
What I find most interesting about this self-shredding artwork is not the prank itself but rather the implications it had on the painting’s value. The prank was so original that it immediately went viral and made national news. Ironically, due to the increase in media exposure it caused, the half-destroyed painting is probably more valuable now than it was when in perfect condition.
I find this current event interesting relative to the concept of customer perceived value of material objects and how that changes relative to external factors. Art is such a subjective realm, and I find it interesting that cost can vary so drastically simply based on emotional and intuitive factors.