"Banksy" shreds painting at Sotheby's auction, but what's wrong with this picture? (1 Viewer)


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"A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting."

We're off to a good start here. Great idea. But...
  • In the brief glimpse of the "shredder" construction, he shows a row of Xacto blades mounted flat on a board, with a metal strip over the row. Thing is though, those blades being laid flat means their cutting edges would be parallel to the canvas - in other words, 90 degrees away from the position they'd have to be in to make neat slits as the canvas is drawn across them. Pick up your favorite #10 Xacto and drag it sideways across some fabric or even paper. It doesn't slice, it tears, and it isn't a neat cut.
  • He built the machine "a few years ago" but triggered it remotely somehow? Sotheby's said, “the present work [...] was given to the present owner by Banksy in 2006 following the artist’s warehouse show, Barely Legal, in Los Angeles.” That was 12 years ago, not "a few." I suppose a battery in a receiver of some kind could last 12 years, unused like that, but it seems like when I let batteries sit unused in a device for even just a couple of years, they corrode. Or, you know, just die a regular battery death. Perhaps Banksy has access to technologically advanced batteries that most of us will never get to use.
Those technical issues aside, the fact that the "shredding" stopped halfway through the painting sure looks calculated. Meaning, the "shredder" wasn't made to destroy the work, just to alter it, ultimately making it more interesting and valuable, via all the hype it received by being "shredded." That's the part that doesn't fit.

The idea of chopping up a painting isn't new (when someone asked artist Ray Johnson for a 25% discount on a painting, Johnson took the money, cut off a quarter of the painting and sent the painting to the buyer with a quarter of it missing), but the fact that the painting wasn't shredded completely kind of tells us about the intentions of the artist. It would seem that he intention wasn't to destroy the painting, but to draw attention to the artist.

It all feels very calculated, which changes it from being a statement to just well thought out hype.
yeah. it would have been so cool if the whole shredded painting just fell to the floor.

he finally sold out!
On the BBC it was reported the painting had "self-destructed," which conjured the image of an exploding canvas, screaming. The dinner parties are going to be awash with the news tonight. The first row nearest the painting should have left the auction hall with blackened faces and raised hair, picking fragments of the great artist's work embedded in their skin for the next month. That would teach them to take for granted an encounter with art. :)
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It must be frightening to see someone preparing to club you over the head with a painting. But it was just paper, and the breaks are so clean it looks like it might have even been scored to split easily when forcefully applied to the top of a head.

The guy who did it seems like a nut job, but really, how is his "statement" so different from the "statements" made by Abramovic and her ilk?

A little violence in art is good, it keeps the dilettantes and tourists away. :)

But maybe don't act out your violent performance on a 70 year old's head. That's just some stupid, cowardly shit.
I liked the Banksy-action.
Nice performance. Makes a whole new piece-of-art out of something that's been a piece-of-art already.

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