The self-destruction of Banksy's painting Girl With Balloon at Sotheby's auction in London was certainly one of the most shocking art events of 2018. Shortly after going under the hammer for $1.4 million, the piece started shredding itself leaving the art world stunned, entertained and amazed, but also puzzled. In a world already flooded with images, Banksy's piece became one of the most famous in the world in a matter of seconds.
This work, now known as Love is in the Bin, will go on public display for the first time at Museum Frieder Burda in February. Although the work will attract great interest from the public, Henning Schaper, director of the Museum, explains they would have to resist the temptation to display the picture like a trophy:
That would definitely not be what the artist had in mind. Instead, we are trying to adhere to his approach of consistently democratizing art and we are currently discussing how to make the picture accessible to as many people as possible.
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Offering a unique concept to appropriately exhibit the picture and having a remarkable tracking record in addressing urban art, the Museum Frieder Burda got the ‘nod’ for the world’s first public presentation of Banksy's artwork, despite stiff competition from other quarters. Viewing conditions will be designed to allow as many visitors as possible to experience the work.
The first public display of this controversial work will be accompanied by a symposium, discussing whether the strategies of the art market be torpedoed while adding to fuel to its fire. The discussion will include Elke Buhr, editor-in-chief of Monopol, the art historian Wolfgang Ullrich and the Banksy expert, Ulrich Blanché. As Frieder Burda himself explains, the museum is excited to display this unusual work, but also continue the critical art discourse about it.
Attempting to make the context and intentions of Banksy’s work plausible, the display will explore conditions in an art market that makes such a development, and such an explosion of value, possible in the first place.
Banksy's stunt at Sotheby's caused quite a stir in the entire art world, marking a new and radical high point of destruction as art. At the same time, it posed a number of different questions in regards to the art market, originality of the artwork, etc.
The German author Georg Seesslen once said of Banksy:
Banksy does not just make art, he is art. Every picture, every performance is part of this meta-work of art.
The piece Love is in the Bin will be on view at Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden from February 5th until March 3rd, 2019.
Featured image: Banksy - Love is in the Bin, 2018. Spray paint and acrylic on canvas, 142 x 78 x 18 cm. Private Collection, Photo: Sotheby’s, © Banksy. Image via Museum Frieder Burda.