Banksy, aka the mysterious UK street artist, is back at it again! But this time, it wasn't the revelation of a painting that stole the spotlight, but the destruction of one.
On Friday, the artist's famed "Girl with Balloon" was up for auction at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London. Moments after being sold for $1.4 million, the painting was self-destructed into pieces.
"It appears we just got Banksy-ed," said Alex Branczik, Sotheby's head of contemporary art for Europe, according to BuzzFeed.
In a video posted to Instagram, Banksy explained that he had secretly installed a shredder in the frame of the painting a few years ago ... with an aim to destroy it if it were ever sold.
"Going, going, gone ..."
"Their faces, their faces!"
Banksy accompanied the explanatory video with a Picasso quote: "The urge to destroy is also a creative urge"
The painting was a 2006 reproduction of the 2002 spray-painted mural "Balloon Girl."
The mural - which shows a young girl releasing a red heart-shaped balloon - was originally spray-painted on a building in East London.
In 2017, the painting was named Britain's favorite. The artwork ranked No.1 on a list of British art, following a poll - carried out with 2,000 individuals - to mark the launch of a new Samsung TV: The Frame. Banksy's work beat paintings by English romantic painters John Constable and J. M. W. Turner.
In 2014, Banksy used a variant of "Balloon Girl" in a show of solidarity with Syrian refugees.
A priceless piece of art?
"The piece wasn't finished until it was shredded. That was the art"
"Art on Art"
"I aspire to this level of art"
Banksy's artwork will live forever
It is part hotel, part museum and of course, one big art installation. The hotel includes paintings done in Banksy's signature street art style.
But, that's not all. Each room represents a particular theme or statement.
From critiquing colonialism to highlighting the reality of the Israeli military, these rooms not only provide a place for guests to sleep in, but also lead them to think about the present reality in Palestine and the historical roots of today's conflict.