Banksy’s Self-Shredded ‘Love In The Bin’ Artwork Sells For $25.4 Million

A self-shredded work of art by British street artist Banksy, titled “Love in the Bin,” sold for 18.5 million pounds ($25.4 million) in a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday. It was a surprising number, as presale estimates had the painting fetching up to 4 to 6 million pounds (around $5 million to $8 million).

The piece was originally sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s back in 2018, and was then known as “Girl with Balloon.” As the anonymous female European buyer won the bid, a hidden shredder in the frame of the painting cut up half of the canvas.

It was certainly a stunning move that, when watched on video, becomes amusing when factoring in the reactions of unsuspecting attendees and workers. Thankfully, the buyer of “Love in the Bin” was happy to be a part of such a notable event.

“When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked,” the buyer said, speaking to Sotheby’s, “but gradually I began to realize that I would end up with my own piece of art history.”

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“Girl with Balloon,” created by Banksy in 2006, featured a black spray-painted young girl reaching up for a the lone color of the piece, a red, heart-shaped balloon against the white canvas. After the shredding, only does the balloon and the smallest bit of the girl’s head remain in the frame.

Sotheby’s noted that Banksy using an “artist’s frame,” which is a heavy, Victorian-era frame, is typically how he “pokes fun at the establishment.” Sotheby’s also explained that this kind of ruse has become a norm for the artist. Previously, Banksy hung his own works of art in famous museums such as the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Banksy is just as unique as the stunt he pulled. Street Art Bio gives a fascinating look into the creator’s career, while also praising just how much of an impact Banksy has left in the art world due to his “no boundaries” approach.

“Banksy’s political statements and disruptive vision have impacted cities across the globe at vital moments in modern history, provoking alternative viewpoints and encouraging revolution in the art world.”

At just 18 years old, Banksy realized his desired form of art while hiding from the police after vandalizing public spaces: stenciling. Banksy would go on to create various artworks that deal with numerous themes, from designing hotel rooms guest could sleep in to oil paintings that form a cruise ship when combined, a shot at effects of mass tourism.

One of Banksy’s defining traits is his satirical takes. One such painting, “Devolved Parliament,”  depicted the U.K.’s House of Commons being overrun with apes. It ended up selling for 9.9 million pounds, or $13.54 million, the highest amount of money any one of his works had fetched up until now.

Banksy’s love of poking fun at society through primates is also shown in “Laugh Now But One Day We’ll Be In Charge,” which shows three monkeys holding up dripping pages that have the aforementioned title written on them.

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It’s not hard to see why people greatly enjoy the “variety and bravery” of Banksy’s pieces, and how he is able to leave such a remarkable impression on his audiences – so much so that Street Art Bio says the inspiration he gives to artists of all forms and experiences is known as the “Banksy effect.”

Banksy is an extremely private man – not even his full name is known, and he doesn’t give interviews. Street Art Bio says that some sources claim his name is Robin Gunninham.  However, perhaps this mystery is best left unsolved. After all, it only contributes more to the zaniness and intrigue that surrounds him.

Artist Painting

Stolen Painting Found In The Walls Of The Gallery It Was Taken From, 23 Years Later

A two decade long mystery involving Italy, a famous symbolist painter, a lost piece of art, and the inner workings of a gallery has finally been solved with quite the twist ending. 

‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was stolen from the Ricci Oddi modern art gallery in Piacenza, Italy back in 1997 (on February 22nd to be specific). The painting was originally created back in 1917, and it’s still unknown who the original thief was, especially considering the way in which the painting was found. 

A gardener for the Ricci Oddi gallery claimed to be clearing some overgrown ivy outside of the gallery back in December (2019). While he was clearing away the vines he noticed a major gap in the walls that were behind the ivy, and inside the gap there was a large bag. Inside of that large bag was the ‘Portrait of a Lady’ left miraculously undamaged and in pristine condition. 

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“It’s with no small emotion that I can tell you the work is authentic. The only major sign of wear is a small mark on the side of the painting where it may have been hurriedly removed from its frame,” Piacenza prosecutor Ornella Chicca said during a press conference.

The painting itself is a portrait of a young woman giving a sultry gaze over her shoulder. The geometric, yet subtle, pattern on her coat holds Klimt’s signature symbolic style, accompanied by light colors and a background of multiple green shades. The painting was initially created a year before Klimt died, and the Ricci Oddi gallery acquired the piece in 1925 where it stayed until it was inevitably stolen in 1997. 

After the gardener’s initial discovery in December, federal agents and art curators alike worked to thoroughly, and delicately, determine the validity of the painting. They used infrared radiation inside of a vault of an Italian bank to ensure the painting was kept under constant protection, unlike last time. It didn’t take long for them to realize that the portrait was, indeed, real. 

Now, 23 years since the painting was stolen and over 100 years since it was originally created, art researchers have made some new discoveries regarding the portrait itself; and Klimt as an artist. Since curators were closely analyzing every detail of the painting to confirm its authenticity, they were able to draw connections to this particular Klimt piece, and a few others as well. 

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One expert recalled back in 1996, one year before the painting was missing, a student of theirs drew observations over some “striking similarities” between the ‘Portrait of a Lady’ and another Klimt painting that depicted a woman with a practically identical stare and posture, but in this painting the woman was wearing a hat and scarf. 

Once this expert recalled that memory as they were observing the details on the new found portrait, the entire team decided to take a much closer look at the galleries entire Klimt collection from the time period that the portraits were created. They then discovered that the portrait of the woman wearing a hat and scarf was indeed the same woman in the ‘Portrait of a Lady’ that Klimt had just painted over. 

With the help of the infrared technology, and a few X-rays, Italian authorities were able to make the connection, and now local police are trying to piece together what exactly happened. There are currently no real leads, as the painting was “stolen” over two decades ago, and now this new evidence could prove that the painting may have never left the gallery grounds in the first place. 

One theory states that at the time of the robbery, Klimt paintings were in extremely high demand, causing prices to skyrocket. Someone could have simply moved the painting to inside of the wall for safekeeping until they could sneak it off the grounds, however, due to how in demand Klimt’s work was, they may have gotten cold-feet in terms of actually stealing the painting fully. For now though, it’s extremely unclear as to what actually happened 23 years ago, but at least art experts have some greater insight into Klimt’s process.

Electric Guitar

Radiohead Launches Digital “Public Library” to Chronicle Band’s History

Radiohead is perhaps one of the world’s most influential rock bands of all time, as its groundbreaking records like “OK Computer,” “Kid A,” and “In Rainbows” have revolutionized not just the genre of alternative rock but also the way music is distributed and consumed. For years, however, the website has been relatively barren, including only links to buy records, merchandise, and concert tickets. The band has decided to change that by launching the “Radiohead Public Library,” which chronicles the band’s history by presenting a collage of various projects the band has worked on as well as documents relating to these projects, including promotional materials, recordings of concerts, and more. The website functions not only as a historical archive, but as a method for fans of the band to offer their support by purchasing music or merchandise, as many of the items presented on the “public library” contain links to online stores.

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Much of the content provided on the “public library” contains artwork produced by Stanley Donwood, a longtime collaborator of the band who is known for his abstract, psychedelic artwork that has given the band’s album artwork its distinctive look. The artwork for the “King of Limbs” record, for instance, depicts otherworldly ghostlike figures among a woodland backdrop, matching the album’s themes of nature and alienation, and the artwork for “OK Computer” depicts an abstract representation of a highway, corresponding with the record’s themes of modernity and transportation. While the “public library” offers visitors an opportunity to purchase music and merchandise, it also offers a lot of free content, including free streams of music and recordings of previous concerts. While the collection of content available on the digital library is expansive, it does not contain everything, as some limited-edition music releases as well as solo projects created by the band’s members are not included.

Radiohead is no stranger to unusual methods of distributing their content. “In Rainbows,” which came out in 2007 long before the advent of streaming services like Spotify, was released via a website that allowed customers to pay whatever they felt was appropriate, including nothing, in exchange for a link to download the songs. The band’s experiment ended up being tremendously successful, as “In Rainbows” became one of Radiohead’s most critically-acclaimed and financially successful albums. “The King of Limbs,” meanwhile, was offered in a unique “newspaper edition,” which included a CD, two vinyl records, and a newspaper included fictional and poetic news stories. While “The King of Limbs” was mostly well-received, this experimental distribution method proved to be less successful than the one pioneered for “In Rainbows.”

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Given the band’s decades-long history and the large number of albums they’ve released over the years, it’s no surprise that Radiohead is interested in taking a look back at their expansive career and sharing their history with fans. The “public library” also represents an economic opportunity for the band, as they are reissuing old t-shirts as well as other merchandise on their store. Given the band’s massive and enthusiastic fan base, this merchandise is likely to sell out quickly, so if you’re interested in picking up a Radiohead-themed t-shirt or hoodie, now is the time to do so. 

Art in Home

Art Is The Newest Luxury Real Estate Trend

Real estate trends change every year. As our world continues to modernize and our culture continues to advance, we notice the spaces that we find on the market are doing the same. Luxury real estate is an industry that constantly needs to be up to par with what’s considered new and exciting in the eyes of society. 

So for 2020, what’s the trend? What’s keeping luxury clients engaged and ready to invest in future properties? For Miami, the answer is art. Miami has become a major hub for artwork and culture within the past few years — after all, they already are known for their annual Art Basel festival, which is one of the most attended and prestigious art fairs in the United States.  

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2000 Ocean is one of Miami’s newest and most talked about luxury real estate developments to come out of 2019. The luxury high rise apartments are priced anywhere between $2 million to $9 million and were developed by KAR properties, one of the most notable real estate firms in the US today. Shahab Karmely is the CEO of KAR, and recently discussed 2000 Ocean and KAR’s new art curator program that they plan on implementing into their luxury properties in the new year. 

“It [the art curating program] is part of our lifestyle services offerings. Art is part of mainstream culture today and Miami is at the center. Today incorporating lifestyle factors including professionally managed art programs are necessities if you want to be in the true luxury sector,” Karmely explained

Art has often been a symbol of sophistication and culture. The simplest piece can be representational of any worldly issue or personal journey; it’s completely subjective, which is the beauty of it. Every person can interpret a piece differently, and inviting that energy into the home, one of open conversation and understanding over the creative process, is exactly what’s on trend right now. 

In a time full of disagreement and argument, politically, our world has grown to be a battle, a constant back and forth in terms of opinions. As such, adding something like art into the home that can promote a positive difference of opinions is what real estate developers want to accomplish. 

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For 2000 Ocean specifically, Art Curator Megan Kincaid is leading the effort for the new luxury apartment properties. According to Karmely, Kincaid was hired as an expert who can offer education to clients and provide them with an understanding of what it is to have beautiful art in these luxury properties. 

“[Kincaid] will organize exhibitions of modern and contemporary art for residents, curate rotating shows, lectures, and art-inspired events. Personal art exhibition outings around Miami are offered. The program is meant to enhance living through art in your home and Miami. To enjoy art, you need knowledge and appreciation. We will overcome that by educating homebuyers who may have felt art was not for them,” Karmely said. 

When it comes to “staging” a luxury property, showing it with an art piece as the focus of a particular space in that property is a marketing strategy that’s been used for years. Staging in general shows clients what a home could look like if they were to move in. When it comes to luxury properties, the goal is to not only give the space a “home-y” feel, but also an extravagant one. Art tends to always make a space feel more luxurious, as it’s mainly found in museums or in the homes of the extremely wealthy depending on the piece, so when it becomes the focal point of a room, it gives off that same effect. 

Miami is kickstarting one of 2020’s first of many real estate trends. It will be interesting to see how art in the home develops and expands throughout every tier of real estate and how the market reacts. For now, only time will tell.