Harvard experts discuss stratospheric fine-art prices

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 18:30 in Mathematics & Economics

Last October, seconds after it sold at Sotheby’s in London for $1.4 million, Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” self-destructed as a shredder hidden in the picture’s frame began grinding up the image from inside. It was a perfectly timed trick by the reclusive graffiti artist, who immediately posted a video about his art punk online and renamed the piece “Love Is in the Bin.” Onlookers were stunned. Later, an auction house official said in a statement what was by then likely obvious to everyone: “It appears we just got Banksy-ed.” Harvard’s Mary Schneider Enriquez wasn’t surprised. “I think this showed his control and manipulation of us in the most brilliant manner possible,” said Enriquez, Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums. “He took his practice a step further in the sanctity of this heated auction house market and said, ‘Look at what I’ve done to you.’” Experts agree that...

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