Fine Art

Banksy’s ‘Love Is In The Bin’ Smashes Record

Banksy is still quite a hot artist. Maybe even the hottest. The prices for his works have proven this over and over when they come up for auction. His piece Girl with Balloon was forever transformed when the image famously shredded halfway at a Sotheby’s Auction on October 5, 2018.

Selling by Sotheby’s on October 14, 2021 with a new title from Banksy: Love is in the Bin.

Banksy is performative and understood to be a protest street artist. Street art is a broad term but his appeal is undeniable to art collectors and investors. This is the (italicize the) artwork that famously shredded halfway within the frame during a Sotheby’s auction becoming an entirely new artwork. The infamous event brought audible gasps to the live room of bidders and made international news.

It was sold by Sotheby’s Auctions in London for 18.582 million British pounds (more than $25.54 million in today’s terms). The Sotheby’s press release said that this smashed records, and to support that notion its realized price was 3 to 4 times the auction estimate made by Sotheby’s.

Undermining the establishment has always been at the heart of Banksy’s work according to Sotheby’s. The event that made this piece iconic was a live auction on the evening of October 5, 2018 in the Sotheby’s sale room in London. The evening was interrupted as soon as the gavel came down for the final winning bid of £1,042,000. According to Banksy the artwork was supposed to shred the entire way but malfunctioned. Banksy through his Instagram exclaimed that it had worked in rehearsals every time.

Sotheby’s press release for the 2021 sale had this to say about the original 2018 sale:

“Some people think it didn’t really shred. It did. Some people think the auction house was in on it, they weren’t.” – Banksy on Instagram, 2018

Banksy Love Is In The Bin

(Image by Sotheby’s)

Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class, and modern art certainly fits within high-end collectibles. The reality is that this is now the same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds. Another harsh reality is that true collectors with a passion to own an item for years frequently have to compete directly against investors who just want to make a profit in the future.

The Guardian had hailed this artwork as Banksy’s greatest work. The BBC predicted that it will come to be seen as one of the most significant artworks of the early 21st Century. A ten minute final chase by nine bidders according to Sotheby’s creates a certainty that this artwork will come to auction again.

Earlier this year it was shown by a top bank that the art sales would be bright later in 2021 and beyond. So far so good!