If you’re a fan of Banksy, London’s famously anonymous graffiti artist, you’ll remember how he punked the high-end art industry on a massive scale back in 2018. His famous image of a girl letting go of a red balloon sold for a cool £1m on auction at Sotheby’s. But as the sale concluded a secret paper shredder built into the frame started whirring away, shredding the artwork! It jammed halfway, creating a neat image of the problems associated with the commercial art world. But trust rich people to turn this into a thing. The half-shredded image became famous and the anonymous European buyer elected to pay for it anyway, lending it out for exhibitions. Now it’s back on auction and “conservative estimates” say it’ll sell for between £4m and £6m! That means the painting will have appreciated nearly 500% in almost three years. Yoh. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap,16 September 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.