Exhibition Review | Sotheby’s: Love in the Bin, by Banksy

On 5th October, Friday, the whole world was talking about one artist and his historical artwork—-

Banksy self-destroyed his work Girl with Ballon right after it was auctioned for £860,000.

Till 12nd Oct, Friday, after all the twists and turns, the auction house — Sotheby’s announced to confirm the sale of the new titled artwork  Love in the Bin and open the show to the public at the coming weekend. 

So on 13th Oct, Saturday, one week after the shocking news,  I visited the hottest exhibition at Sotheby’s new bond street, London.

Arriving at 1:30pm, people queued up in front of Sotheby’s, passed through the first floor and stairs, then the main hall on the third floor, after 30 minutes of waiting, finally, I passed the safety inspect door and came to the most inside room, Wilson Gallery, where the hottest painting exhibited.

Instead of hanging on the wall, the half shredded painting was well arranged in a glass showcase, people got two minutes to visit it from the front to the back, to see if they could spot the shredder or not.

Banksy is an anonymous street artist based in England, he is famous for his dark humour to satiric politics, he used a distinctive stenciling technique to create graffiti around the world.

This painting is an adaptation fo Banksy’s 2002 mural Girl with Balloon, depicting a little girl with her hand extended toward a flying away balloon, which is in the shape of a red heart. He used to paint this graffiti around London, and used this design to support social campaigns, like Syrian Refugee crisis and 2017 UK election. It was ranked as the United Kindom’s No.1 favorite artwork.


According to Banksy’s video, when he gave this framed painting to his friend, he prepared a self-destruct shredder inside the frame in case if the painting would be auctioned one day.


So, on 5th October, when Sotheby’s sold this painting at the auction, Banksy pressed the button which triggered the shredder, the painting was immediately shredded, but just two-thirds of it.

People were guessing if Sotheby’s joining this shredding or not,  if the deal will continue or not, if this is a marketing or not, why it’s only two thirds, not all got shredded.

Then, on 12th October, Friday, Sotheby’s senior director said “Banksy didn’t destroy an artwork, he created one. This is newly titled Love in the Bin, 2018.”

On 17th Oct, Banksy launched another video named “Shredding the Girl and Ballon– the Director’s cut”, to present the details of that night and how it worked well in rehearsal.

No matter Sotheby’s in or not, no matter Banksy shredded only half purposefully or not, I’d say this is a great PR. Sotheby’s reacted quickly and wisely to increase the value of the destroyed painting, Banksy chose the 2  most sensitive time to launch the 2 videos which increased the media exposure crazily and made it go viral. 

Sotheby’s got money and business, Banksy got his fame for dark humor and satirical art. Both of them got what they want, from this point of view, I’d say this is a natural-fit collaboration.


Sotheby’s, London


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