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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Sold and diverted

The image soon went around the world. And history is now part of the legend. On October 5, during the auction of Banksy's Girl With Balloon at Sotheby's, a dramatic coup! No sooner was the work auctioned (for the tidy sum of 1.2 million euros) than it slipped from its frame before being ground ( shredded in English) by it, under the dumbfounded gaze of the public.

On Instagram, the artist shared the video of the scene, accompanied by a quote attributed to Picasso: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge", or "What a pleasure to destroy in order to start again". This "creative destruction", to quote literally the economist Joseph Schumpeter, did not fail to inspire Internet users. The image, over and over again diverted on the social networks, quickly became a meme.

Far, far from the militant ideas of Banksy, some big brands and multinationals also saw it as a good way to get people talking. At McDonald's (which has already been the target of the artist), the little girl with the balloon has thus become a portion of fries, and at Ikea a carpet. The Swedish furniture brand also quips by adding the legend "A masterpiece that everyone can own". Become a mass phenomenon to the point of being recovered by the consumer society, a shame for the masked disruptor.


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