Banksy Launches a New Online Store: Make Purchases Through October 28

Has Banksy sold out? Fans and crit­ics alike of the street-art provo­ca­teur-turned-glob­al­ly rec­og­niz­able brand can argue that ques­tion end­less­ly. But we do know, at least, that Banksy sells: ear­li­er this month he broke his own record when his 2009 paint­ing Devolved Par­lia­ment went for £9.88 mil­lion (about $12.20 mil­lion USD) at Sothe­by’s. Not all the fol­low­ers attract­ed by Banksy’s anti-cap­i­tal­is­tic, anti-cor­po­rate, anti-wealth image can afford to pay quite so much for a Banksy of their own, but if they can come up with any­thing from £10 to £850.00, they stand as much of a chance as any­one else of mak­ing a pur­chase from the artist’s new­ly opened online store, Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct, the sec­ond phase of a project that began, as many of Banksy’s ven­tures have, on a Lon­don street.

In this case it was­n’t a mur­al but a shop, or rather, an instal­la­tion designed to look like a shop, “opened” right in time for Frieze Week, when the art world pass­es through the city. “Tak­ing up large win­dows fac­ing the street, the shop, ‘where art irri­tates life,’ is a clas­sic dis­play of the artist’s inge­nu­ity and razor-sharp sense of rea­son and humor,” writes Jux­tapoz’s Sasha Bogo­jev.

Its stock includ­ed a “baby crib sur­veil­lance mobile toy, along with ‘ear­ly learn­ing count­ing set’ con­sist­ing of wood­en fig­ures of refugees, wel­come mats made from life vests sal­vaged from the shores of the Mediter­ranean, dis­co ball made from old police hel­mets, plates/clocks with run­ning rats, works on can­vas, cush­ions, and even bad­ly done ‘Banksky’ T‑shirts, mugs and plates.” Much to the dis­may of many a Frieze-goer, noth­ing in Banksy’s brick-and-mor­tar store was avail­able for sale.

But every­thing in Banksy’s online store is: “ offers a wide range of house­hold prod­ucts, art­works and basi­cal­ly a whole range of Banksy™ knick-knacks,” writes Bogo­jev. “From mugs for which ‘the artist got the kids to do it, then signed the result,’ sculp­tur­al edi­tion made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Escif, learn­ing sets, t‑shirts” — one mod­eled after Girl with Bal­loon, shred­ded bot­tom half and all — “soft toys, clocks, all the way to two new print edi­tions.” Such is Banksy’s pop­u­lar­i­ty that you might well assume every­thing has already run out, but no: each hope­ful buy­er can reg­is­ter to pur­chase one item — but just one — until Octo­ber 28th, at which point a lot­tery process will deter­mine which of them will actu­al­ly have the priv­i­lege of mak­ing their desired pur­chas­es. In the high­ly like­ly event of “demand out­strip­ping sup­ply,” Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct will use as a deter­min­ing fac­tor appli­cants’ respons­es, con­sist­ing of fifty words or few­er, to the ques­tion, “Why does art mat­ter?”

One hopes that when this lat­est Banksy stunt has fin­ished, the win­ning respons­es to that ques­tion will be made pub­lic; the art-world com­men­tari­at would cer­tain­ly make much of an answer from Banksy him­self. But Banksy-watch­ers know that the artist, what­ev­er his real iden­ti­ty, is always on the move: no soon­er have we learned of his lat­est piece of work, what­ev­er form it takes, than he’s primed the next one to drop. Banksy has described Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct as legal­ly moti­vat­ed, prompt­ed by a greet­ing card com­pa­ny’s attempts “to seize legal cus­tody of the name Banksy from the artist, who has been advised the best way to pre­vent this is to sell his own range of brand­ed mer­chan­dise.” If any­one makes Banksy greet­ing cards, it’s going to be Banksy. And if he were to announce his own Hall­mark Store, lines would sure­ly start form­ing right away.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Behind the Banksy Stunt: An In-Depth Break­down of the Artist’s Self-Shred­ding Paint­ing

Banksy Strikes Again in Venice

Watch Dis­ma­land — The Offi­cial Unof­fi­cial Film, A Cin­e­mat­ic Jour­ney Through Banksy’s Apoc­a­lyp­tic Theme Park

Banksy Cre­ates a Tiny Repli­ca of The Great Sphinx Of Giza In Queens

Pat­ti Smith Presents Top Web­by Award to Banksy; He Accepts with Self-Mock­ing Video

The Always Bank­able Banksy

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Charlotte says:

    Leave it to Banksy…

    Online Appli­ca­tion CLOSED! FFS! I want to shop Gross Domes­tic Prod­ucts!!

  • Tasriful islam says:

    I like your cur­rent pro­duc­ing quite a good deal! talk about many of us car­ry on a new dis­tance learn­ing fur­ther about your cur­rent con­tent in your top­ic? My spouse and i call for an author­i­ty for this place to end our trou­ble. Prob­a­bly that’s any­one! Hav­ing a look onward to view any­one.

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