Only Banksy would have the audacity to shred his own painting literally seconds after it sold for over $1 million at a London art gallery, but that's exactly what the artist made headlines for recently.
Now it's being reported that the partial shredding was actually a malfunction and the painting was supposed to get completely shredded, as the elusive artist confirmed in a recent video.
While the people at the auction and the rest of the world were shocked by the sudden self-destruction, it's really not out of the norm for Banksy. He often uses street art to make bold statements about society, especially themes like surveillance and consumerism. The shredded painting was a jab at the entire art auction scene.
The final price of the shredded piece fetched at auction is $1.4 million. I have a feeling most of us can't afford that price tag, let alone the flight to London to see some of Banksy's other pieces.
Which is why I'm happy to report you don't have to. You can actually visit all the places in Toronto that Banksy has secretly tagged with his own artwork, which you can see right now for absolutely free.
1. One York
This has to be one of the most iconic, not to mention the biggest, Banksy pieces in Toronto. Originally tagged on the back of 80 Harbour St, the building developers recognized and salvaged the slab of concrete which is now on display in the Toronto Path at One York for anyone to just walk by and visit.
2. The Esplanade & Church St.
Equally as well-preserved as the first Banksy piece, this smaller work by the artist is encased in plastic on its original spot at the corner of The Esplanade and Church St. Chances are you have walked by it before and not even realized the masterpiece right beside you.
3. 58 Phoebe St.
This is where the Banksy pieces in Toronto take more of a tragic turn. Since the artist is secretive and doesn't really sign their pieces, a lot of Banksy's in Toronto have been removed or tagged over. In the case of this one, the rat that was once there has since been washed away, but you can still see a faint outline of the art if you look closely.
4. Manning Avenue & Dundas Street West
One alley on Dundas Street West has been a hot spot for graffiti over the years, and Banksy thought so too! They originally painted a work featuring a man with a sign reading "will work for idiots" on the wall, but not realizing or not caring, it has been tagged over multiple times. Now, the owners have put up a gate blocking people from the alley but you may still be able to catch a peek if you're tall enough.
5. 391 Adelaide St.
Another one of Banksy's iconic Toronto pieces was the banker depicted with a sign reading "0% interest in people." Unfortunately, the building's owners failed to realize the amazing work on their outside walls and had the Banksy piece painted over along with other graffiti. When it was first covered up, you could still clearly see the outlines, but now it appears the building is slated to be torn down or renovated.
It may seem tragic to us that Banksy's work has been foolishly disregarded, but based on the stunt the artist pulled recently at Sotheby's, they don't seem to care if their works are destroyed, as so many have been in Toronto.
If you are on the prowl for other street art that may still be on display or if you are looking to get a Banksy fix on the west coast, another artist operating in Vancouver is pretty much the Canadian version of Banksy. He has even gotten praise from Banksy for his work.
Known as iHeart, this Vancouver city street artist uses stencils just like Banksy, a controversial method in the street-art community. On top of that, they also use their anonymous artwork pieces to make a statement about society and how we are as people.
iHeart's most iconic piece, which got a shout-out from Banksy himself, is called "Nobody Likes Me" and was done in Vancouver's Stanely Park.