Banksy opens art store in London the same week he sets auction record of $ 12 million

A detail of one of the items from the Banksy store in London (all author images for Hyperallergic)

LONDON – Banksy has always had a complicated relationship with the art market. His unauthorized street works deliberately challenge the idea of ​​art as a tradable commodity, but often still ends up at auction, at astronomical prices. A stunt last year in which his “Balloon Girl” (2006) self-destructs at a Sotheby’s sale sounded like a reproach on the art market, but in fact doubled the value of the work.

But as of this week, Banksy has officially gone into business. A new installation of her work, unveiled Tuesday, features a storefront filled with branded merchandise. Although Banksy has already exhibited his works in storefront installations, this is the first time the items have been for sale. All products will go on sale online in a few weeks with prices starting at £ 10. Gross domestic product, which is located in a disused carpet shop in the south London district of Croydon, features old and new works by the artist, including the iconic vest worn by grime artist Stormzy in Glastonbury last year.

A poster explains that the piece was born “following legal action” after a greeting card company attempted to claim legal custody of the name “Banksy” and the artist was advised to sell a range of merchandise in order to keep its nickname. Today the BBC reported that the card issuing company called Banksy’s claim “completely false” and that it had “in no way violated his rights” and pointed out that the company was not a “big company” but a very small company of three people. . In an Instagram post in which the artist claimed the room as his own, he explained that the “showroom is for display purposes only” and “probably best viewed at night.”

Playing on the double meaning of ‘rude’, Banksy’s store has a variety of disturbing and unsavory items, such as a rug made from the skin of Tony the Tiger, who died of diabetes after eating too much Frosted Flakes cereal. One label, written in Banksy’s signature irreverent tone, explains that “flooring is quite the topic of the conversation – especially if the conversation centers on the UK spending over £ 7.8million sterling per year in dental extractions for children under 5 “.

Gross domestic product has already attracted visitors from across the UK. However, not everyone is in love with the coin. Some people have expressed their anger at the guerrilla artist’s decision to sell his works, with one commenting on the Instagram post: “Banksy shouldn’t have come in frames. Looks like it’s finally the case. Thanks to the art market and the shit merchants there.

The unveiling of Gross domestic product coincides with another Banksy piece auctioned at an unprecedented price. Thursday, “Decentralized Parliament” (2009), which depicts the British Parliament filled with chimpanzees, sold at Sotheby’s for £ 9.9million ($ 12million), which is an extraordinary figure considering the estimate of the large painting was £ 1,500,000 to £ 2,000,000 ($ 1,900,000 to $ 2,500,000). The sale eclipses the artist’s previous auction record of £ 1.5million ($ 1.9million).

Banksy’s relationship with the art market has gotten a bit more complicated.

A view of the new Banksy store, Gross domestic product

The infamous cardigan Banksy designed this year.

A view of the bedroom with Tony the Tiger as its skin

A poster provides some explanation, but the company named here has denied that this is true.

Some of the life jackets on display

Small sculpture that seems to evoke workers

A brick bag on display

One of the many showcases, this one evoking the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

A detail of the Basquiat window

Deadly serious humor

One of his well-known rat images pops up

Cradle monitoring

Perhaps this suggests late capitalism? Someone’s guessing.

An infamous-looking welcome mat

Exit through the gift shop, right?

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