Guerrilla graffiti artist shocks the world with shredding stunt


We’ve all been tempted to rip up a piece of work when it’s not going to plan, but world-famous guerrilla graffiti artist, Banksy, took things a step further recently with his extremely high-profile shredding stunt. Immediately after one of his most famous pieces, Girl with Balloon, sold at Sotheby’s auction house in London it began to shred itself in front of a stunned audience.

Having sold for a staggering £1.04 million, auction goers were left speechless when the artwork began to self-destruct. Though Banksy later revealed the stunt didn’t go completely to plan as the entire picture didn’t shred, ironically experts believe it’s now even more valuable.

Banksy’s latest exploits got us thinking here at Spiral. How has arguably the world’s most mysterious artist become such a commercial success and how is his work reproduced for hundreds of people’s homes?

Who is Banksy?

Shrouded in mystery, Banksy is believed to be from Bristol, but his identity has never been confirmed. His work consists of dark humour and political activism as well as a distinctive stencilling technique. He’s most famous for his graffiti but also recognised as a successful artist and has sold numerous pieces of work for the ‘wall’. Favouring stencil work, silkscreens and lithographs he sells his work through website and online printshop, Pictures On Walls.

What was the Banksy print?

‘Girl with Balloon’ is a stencilled spray painting, which first appeared in 2004, and was voted as ‘Britain’s favourite work of art’ in 2017. It has since been mass re-produced, more than likely by litho printing, for the consumer market.

However, around 600 mint condition prints have been produced, each worth an estimated £40,000, and experts had to warn owners not to undertake their own shredding stunt as Banksy’s actions were ‘a very unique piece of art history’. The warning came when one collector believed that taking a stanley knife to the print would double its value, how wrong were they, it turned out to reduce its worth to just £1.

What are the benefits of lithograph printing?

Arguably the most beneficial aspect of litho printing is the ability to print large quantities while maintaining a high-quality finish. We can produce over 3000 sheets per hour and the price per unit is reduced the more you print.

Litho printing also allows us to use a range of quality papers and boards without comprising the quality of the finish, so it’s an ideal choice for many businesses.

We would never encourage anyone to shred a priceless piece of artwork, but we would encourage you to contact us if you need to print large quantities with a high-quality finish.  We’re happy to help with all your litho printing needs, so why not give our expert team a call.