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Banksy and a shredder: a recipe for investment?

Artists are known for being perfectionists, so there was a collective gasp when the anonymous English graffitist Banksy casually shredded his own painting during an auction at Sotheby’s earlier this month. Did we mention that it had just sold for £860,000?

The concept of destroying one artwork to form a new one is nothing new. In 1953, the American painter Robert Rauschenberg famously rubbed out a Willem de Kooning drawing, in the process creating ‘Erased de Kooning Drawing’. In destroying ‘Girl with Balloon’, Banksy created ‘Love is in the Bin’ – which according to experts is worth even more in its shredded state.

While his performance art spurred one unfortunate collector to shred their own limited edition print (taking its value from £40,000 to zero in the process), it also raised questions about the role of art as an investment. With 5% of collectors now purchasing art as a long-term investment, it was a question that needed to be asked.

Our managing director, Ian-Weatherby Blythe, shared his thoughts for this Independent article.

“In recent years, the global art market has hugely increased in value, leading some to see art as a huge investment opportunity,” he says. “Buying art is a very personal thing – I think you should always buy a piece of art because you love it, not to make money from it. However, a lot of people do buy art as an investment and do very well out of it.”

For a Banksy artwork without the price tag, check out John D Wilson’s collection below.


John D Wilson


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