Big Question Purpose & value
AoKs/WoKs The arts, human sciences
First order KQs Why did Banksy shred his painting, Girl with Balloon?
Second order KQs How does context shape the way we understand art? What is the key component of artistic knowledge? Is the value of art determined by its intention or content?
What’s the story about? Will Gompertz treats Banksy’s act of shredding his own painting, Girl with Balloon, as a work of art in itself, and rates it as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the century.
Analysing the story That Gompertz regards this act as a work of art is, in itself, deeply interesting, and could lead students towards a very interesting discussion of the nature of art, and what gives it its value. However, what’s even more interesting is how our perception of this work of art changed as this process occurred. First, what was our perception of the artwork before the shredding? How, then, did our ideas change - and why was the buyer of the work of art not put off by the destruction? Does this all show that art is ephemeral and superficial, or that it acts as a mirror to nature “to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure."