The dozens of onlookers who were piling up on the sidewalk of the Londoner New Bond Street yesterday morning looked at each other and began to suspect that they were being protagonists and victims of a new trap / montage. The auction house Sotheby's had announced that during this weekend the public could see exposed the work of art that has caused more commotion in the last days: NIña with a Globe, of the artist grafitero Banksy, who has renamed his creation Love Is In the Bin (Love is in the garbage can), after crushing it half before the astonishment of all those who attended the auction.
The anonymous woman who bought the canvas, for more than a million euros, and that he reaffirmed his decision despite the destruction ("After the initial fright, I began to realize little by little that I had a piece of art history in my hands," he said), allowing the curious to see the work for a limited time. But the announcement had been made at the last moment and nobody was clear as to what time it could be accessed or if the door from which the line began to grow until turning around the block was the correct one. Some pedestrians joined by pure curiosity and only later asked why they were waiting.
"I have no idea of art, but for nothing in the world I would miss the opportunity to take a picture next to what everyone is talking about this week," explained Dennis, a man in his thirties who works in the London's financial sector, in the City, and that the first thing I looked at in every African art picture exhibited in the previous room to the work of Banksy it was the price, delighted that contemporary creations were, according to him, so affordable. If affordable means an average of between 30,000 and 40,000 euros per piece. "I imagine that all those who are here come with the same intention. Become a selfie as soon as they are in front and hang it on Instagram. " He was not wrong. In small groups of 10 in 10, the curious entered the inner sanctum of the Sotheby's building for a few hours, mobile at the ready, and began to immortalize themselves or each other. "Do you mind taking a picture?" Asked a blond woman with a baby and a cart in front of the painting. She looked at the camera. The baby, without understanding anything, to the balloon in the shape of a heart and to the flaps of the crushed girl that come off under the frame.
Experts and not so experts have debated this week passionately if Banksy – who for so many years after mocking with his subversive works of authority, and especially the opaque and elitist world of art, has become the tolerated and protected hooligan from whom everyone ends up benefiting – he has created a new work of art with his montage or he has gone hand in hand.
The answer, seeing the excitement with which the public waited for the moment to come to see the crushed girl up close, is that art resides in the gaze of the spectator. "Of course it's art. Banksy has been able to cheat everyone and give a slap in the face to this world of stretched and above, sure that thanks to his prank will make his works rise in price, "said Carolina excited, a Latin American woman who patiently waited the queue with her daughter to see near the object of the moment.
The face of satisfaction of those responsible for Sotheby's during the day said it all. Every few meters, an employee of the auction house indicated to the curious, with overflowing kindness, what other exhibitions could be seen taking advantage of his visit.
Furniture style art deco, all kinds of contemporary painting, jewelry of any era. The rebellious and iconoclastic act of the graffiti artist has given an unexpected impulse to the institution, without unintended consequences. Beyond the odd column of opinion in the British press questioning the standards of credibility and accounting transparency of the contemporary art market, the hundreds of curious, of all kinds and conditions, who have come over the weekend to Sotheby's they are satisfied, like the brand-new owner of the work, with taking a picture next to a piece of art history that the whole planet has spoken about in recent days.