At 18.00 today Banksy’s infamous shredded ‘Girl with a balloon’ goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s auction house, complete with its new title ‘Love is in the bin’ and an estimate of £4,000,000 – £6,000,000.
Originally the infamousness (we weren’t sure if that was an actual word, but apparently it is) was all based around the discussion of whether the 2018 ‘stunt’ was a real Banksy prank or something that Sotheby’s were aware was going to happen.
At the time the ‘stunt’ occurred, the internet flooded with opinions and theories, and Sotheby’s have consistently maintained their innocence with statements such as ‘would Banksy really want to collaborate with the art establishment?”
Fast forward to May 2021 and an article we wrote added even more intrigue. The article in question titled ‘JPS bursts the balloon on Banksy and Sotheby’s” discussed the idea that not only were Sotheby’s in on the whole plan but also that there’s something very wrong with the dates and timelines being presented.
Following the release of the article it was very clear the accusations divided public opinion with some even accusing JPS, the artist in question, of simply being bitter and jealous of Banksy’s fame. Others applauded him for coming out and saying what many had been thinking.
Prior to releasing the story, JPS had tried to get the attention of other media outlets but, apart from us, no one would listen… until yesterday that is.
Late last night, The Art Newspaper, an online art website with a slightly larger audience than CreativeFolk (OK much bigger) ran a similar story titled ‘Was Banksy’s infamous shredded painting really created in 2006?’.
Within the article, which for the most part raises similar points to our article, includes an interesting quote from Robin Barton, a Banksy specialist, who is quoted as saying, “It is very likely but impossible to prove that the canvas was created a lot later than 2006, and possibly as late as between 2016 and 2018. It is inconceivable to me that a work from 2006 could be adapted to suit the rigours of the shredding stunt of 2018,”.
So why is this interesting? Well for us it’s the fact that someone other than JPS has doubts over what was actually sold. As we said earlier, many of the people dismissing JPS’s claims argued that he is just a jealous artist, well Robin Barton isn’t an artist, he’s a Banksy specialist, and he is agreeing with the idea that the timeline is wrong.
Even the fact that a site like The Art Newspaper ran the story is significant. At CreativeFolk we have the freedom to pretty much say what we want (within the law of course). Unlike larger organisations, we don’t have people above us deciding what we publish. Larger organisations require key decision makers to give them the green light, but only if there is enough substance to back the claim… and clearly they feel there is.
But, whether you believe the claims or not, it feels like more are starting to at least entertain the idea that something is going on and as the saying goes, ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ and it’s starting to smell like something’s burning.