NZ Herald’s news today ………….
The owner of a Banksy print allegedly worth more than £40,000 (NZ$81,000) has shredded it in a copycat attempt to try and double its value – but has now been told it is worthless.
Art experts were contacted by an owner hoping to sell their destroyed Girl With a Balloon print after mimicking the artist’s latest stunt – where a remote device was used to shred the Banksy print at auction.
The seller supposedly sliced strips into the expensive piece with a stanley knife, then requested the print be listed for a minimum of £80,000.
Girl with Ballon is undoutedly Banksy’s most famous stencil and one of his most sought-after artwork. The image is now ubiquitous, appearing everywhere on the Internet but also on postcards, mugs, bags… For all Banksy lovers, it’s definitely a must-have piece of art and was released as an unsigned and as a signed print in 2004/2005; its relatively low edition size contributes to its desirability – there are just 150 Girl With Balloon signed prints and 600 unsigned prints.
Girl with Balloon first appeared on the side of a bridge on the South Bank in London in 2002. At first glance, the stencil seems to depict a little girl sadly watching her red heart-shaped balloon drift away. But on a closer examination, one understands that the young girl is releasing her balloon as she stands still and emotionless. The heart shape, which is the only spot of colour, stands for innocence, dreams, hopes and love. More than being just a child’s toy, the balloon here evokes fragility. The image of the young girl letting go of her balloon suggests that innocence can easily be lost. Banksy is known to mock society and he may implies through his artwork that society makes children grow old too fast. The stencil is originally accompanied by the sentence
“There is always hope”, a positive message which suggests that no matter what happens there is always a hope for better days.
Banksy painted a second version of the girl with a red balloon. He painted a miniature version of his famous stencil onto the cardboard backing of a cheap Ikea frame which quickly became famous as it realised £73,250 at a sale at Bonhams in 2012.
Another version of the stencil painted in Shoreditch, near Liverpool Street station, sparked outrage when the owners of a shop proposed to peel off the wall and send the street art piece to auction. After 10 years hidden behind a billboard, the girl with the red balloon was removed in February 2014 by the Sincura Group who were responsible for the removal of Banksy’s mural Slave Labour in North London a year before. The iconic girl was first exhibited on the occasion of the “Stealing Banksy?” show and then was sold.