In October 2018, one of Banksy's works, Balloon Girl, was sold in an auction at Sotheby's in London for £1.04m. However, shortly after the gavel dropped and it was sold, an alarm sounded inside of the picture frame and the canvas passed through a shredder hidden within the frame, partially shredding the picture.[134] Banksy then posted an image of the shredding on Instagram captioned "Going, going, gone...".[135] After the sale, the auction house acknowledged that the self-destruction of the work was a prank by the artist.[136] The prank received wide news coverage around the world, with one newspaper stating that it was "quite possibly the biggest prank in art history."[134] Joey Syer, co-founder of an online platform facilitating art dealer sales,[137] told the Evening Standard: "The auction result will only propel this further and given the media attention this stunt has received, the lucky buyer would see a great return on the £1.02M they paid last night, this is now part of art history in its shredded state and we'd estimate Banksy has added at a minimum 50% to its value, possibly as high as being worth £2m+."[138] A man seen filming the shredding of the picture during its auction has been suggested to be Banksy.[139][140] Banksy has since released a video on how the shredder was installed into the frame and the shredding of the picture, explaining that he had surreptitiously fitted the painting with the shredder a few years previously, in case it ever went up for auction. To explain his rationale for destroying his own artwork, Banksy quoted Picasso: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge".[141][142] (Although Banksy cited Picasso, this quote is usually attributed to Mikhail Bakunin.) [143] It is not known how the shredder was activated.[144] Banksy has released another video indicating that the painting was intended to be shredded completely. The video shows a sample painting completely shredded by the frame and says: "In rehearsals it worked every time...".[145]
Mosaic murals are made by combining small 1/4" to 2" size pieces of colorful stone, ceramic, or glass tiles which are then laid out to create a picture. Modern day technology has allowed commercial mosaic mural makers to use computer programs to separate photographs into colors that are automatically cut and glued onto sheets of mesh creating precise murals fast and in large quantities.
Local residents of Weston-super-Mare were told that a Hollywood company called Atlas Entertainment was using the location to film a crime thriller called Grey Fox. Signs proclaiming "Grey Fox Productions" were posted around entrances to the site.[5][6][7] Pictures of its construction began surfacing online in early August 2015, and included a "fairy castle and massive sculptures".[8] Holly Cushing, whose name appeared in the credits of a documentary about Banksy and who is often reported to be his manager, was sighted at the construction site before the opening, which contributed to the decline of its status as "secret".[8][9]
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