See a Microscopic Version of Banksy’s ‘Girl With a Balloon,’ So Tiny It Fits in the Eye of a Needle

The delicate miniature was created by British artist David Lindon.

David Lindon's microscopic version of Banksy's Girl with a Baloon (2004). Photo courtesy of David Lindon.

The British artist David Lindon, also known as “Microangelo,” has made a microscopic version of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon that is so small it can fit in the eye of a needle. This miniature has not been spared the same fate as the original, which was infamously shredded live in the salesroom just moments after the hammer fell on a £1 million ($1.4 million) winning bid at Sotheby’s London in 2018. Banksy renamed the work Love is in the Bin (2018).

This teeny-tiny version was made using the tip of an ostrich feather and is set within a 24-carat gold frame. It was shredded using minute microblades that were custom-made for the occasion.

Much like the original, which only became more in-demand after the shocking publicity stunt and resold in 2021 for more than £18.5 million ($25 million), the shredded miniature has already been snapped up by a keen collector. It was sold by Hammond Galleries for an undisclosed sum.

David Lindon’s microscopic version of Banksy’s Love is in the Bin (2018). Photo courtesy of David Lindon.

This is not the first time that Lindon has imitated the anonymous graffiti artist, having previously made mini versions of three other stencil artworks Happy Choppers, Love Rat, and The Flower Thrower for a private commission. Previous examples of his work have been valued as high as £75,000 ($95,000).

Last year, Lindon made microscopic versions of three paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, which were embedded within a $190,000 wristwatch to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Each of these minuscule canvases measured about half a millimeter, meaning you’d need a magnifying glass to really appreciate the Post-Impressionist’s signature swirling brushstroke.

Lindon, aged 54, has a background in engineering. He makes his petite paintings using crushed micro pigments, precious metals, and gemstones, as well as tiny strands of fiber like Kevlar and nylon. To allow them to be appreciated by the naked eye, he sets up elaborate displays using magnifying glasses and specialized lighting.

“Manipulation of the material is key because the laws of physics appear to change under high magnification,” Lindon said about the highly complicated process. It can take him several months to complete just one artwork since the method requires such extreme precision. Lindon must control his breathing and even pauses for each heartbeat so that the pulse doesn’t make his hand jump. Just one wayward gust of wind is enough to blow away several weeks worth of painstaking work, never to be found again.

“The mind switches to a heightened level of concentration, more than most people are capable of,” he said. “I work closely with the microscope, treating it as an extension of my body.”


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