I wonder if Banksy read it.
His Girl With Balloon, which self-destructed minutes after selling for a million quid (the Sotheby’s estimate was £200K to £300K) is now believed, in its shredded state, to be worth twice what the anonymous buyer paid. Or at least, what he or she bid because we await confirmation that the buyer has paid or will pay for the artwork.
I’m pretty sure that he has or will. After all, the result of this coup de théâtre is a new, unique artwork.
There is a parallel here. Back in the early 1950s, Robert Rauschenberg performed an equally audacious act. He ‘erased’ a drawing by Willem de Kooning and in so doing, over a period of two months, he created a new piece which he exhibited under the title “Erased De Kooning Drawing”.
He said that it was not destruction, nor negation, but celebration. And de Kooning colluded in this by providing “something I will miss”.
Rauschenberg had experimented with erasing his own work, but concluded that “If it was my own work being erased, then the erasing would only be half the process, and I wanted it to be the whole,” he said.
Judged by this criterion, Banksy has only achieved half the process. His next move, perhaps, will be to approach a de Kooning of today with a request for an artwork which can form the raw material for a total erasure.
I nominate Damian Hirst.
Today from the everysmith vaults: To my eternal regret, I missed Luna’s couple of gigs in the UK last month, so grateful to nyctaper for a great show from Industry City in “deep Brooklyn”. Highlight (for me) a terrific version of the Velvets’ Lonesome Cowboy Bill. What NY lacks in baseball, it makes up for with a great music scene.