I’ve long been a fan of Banksy — and I know that’s easy to say — as part of Generation Y (millennials) you’d be hard pushed to find someone who is not.
How would you describe his artwork?
Powerful yet simple to appreciate.
Politically charged yet cheeky.
Just some of the responses when MyArtBoker polled 1,400 people.1
Personally, for me it’s a mixture of (1) his world-baiting art, (2) the mystique surrounding his identity, (3) his style, (4) the delivery and finally (5) the originality — there’s a reason many have tried (and failed) to replicate his work.
I grew up always drawing and doodling. In fact I’d say I’m more “right brained” than “left brained” 2 — more creative than logical or mathematical. Not what you’d expect from someone leading a team of PhD scientists pioneering algorithms and models in the world’s financial markets!
When I was a teenager I enjoyed the thrill of graffiti — the creativity in the artwork, the building of a brand (tag), and the execution of doing something you’re really not supposed too.
But back to Banksy… here in the UK, he’s considered a national treasure — with his artwork hanging in some of the most prestigious galleries.
So a couple of days ago I battled the elements to travel to Croydon, in South London, to check out his latest installation — Gross Domestic Product. A dystopian hardware store. A temporary shop that you can’t go into — you just look at the pieces through the shop window.
Colossal actually do a great job of describing
Tony the Frosted Flakes tiger sacrificed as a living room rug, wooden dolls handing their babies off to smugglers in freight truck trailers, and welcome mats stitched from life jackets: rather than offering an aspirational lifestyle, one South London storefront window depicts a capitalist dystopia. Created by Banksy and appearing overnight, Gross Domestic Product is the latest installation to critique global society’s major issues of forced human migration, animal exploitation, and the surveillance state
Banksy himself says:
GDP is the homewares brand from Banksy and this is our first and only store. The showroom is for display purposes only and the doors will not open. All sales will be conducted online when the website opens soon. This shop has come about as a result of legal action. A greetings card company are trying 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. So here it is – we hope to offer something for everyone, prices start from £10 but availability will be limited – all of these products are handmade in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible. Including the ideas.
I think the online shop opens in two weeks — how he plans to go about selling, or rather, ensuring that people with Shopify Bots don’t win out is a mystery to me. Perhaps some sort of lottery? Also, he mentions prices start at £10 — this would probably be for the items that are not limited edition. It will be interesting to see how he prices his own artwork? For example, “Baby Mobile” is an edition of 3.. as any price set, may have an impact on the overall Banksy market. Below is a summary of how limited each item is in the store, according to the descriptions:
One off originals:
- Thrower – From an edition
- Rug – From an edition
- Axe – From an edition
- Tombstone – From an edition
- Early learning counting set – From an edition
Works where edition is between 3 and 50:
- Baby mobile – Edition of 3
- Ultra HD TV – Edition of 3
- Vest – Edition of 5 plus 2 AP
- Clutch bag – Edition of 5
- Crockery – From an edition
- Goldfish – Edition of 15
- Crucifix – Edition of 26
- Duck and cover (set of 3) – Edition of 50
- Clocks – Edition of 150
- Bansquiat – Edition of 300 on grey, and 200 on black
- Banksy paint
- Screwed up Morrissey poster
- Shredded tee
- Balloon tee
“Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight”
Whilst here, I should mention about his “Devolved Parliament” piece selling for £9.9m this week at Sotheby’s.
The original estimate was somewhere between £1.5-2m; showing that Banksy’s artwork is just going mature over years, and likely become more valuable.
He’ll continue his trademark synonymous “public” pieces — operating the typical “finders keepers” policy.
Finally, did I spot Banksy?
Not one for spoilers, and I kinda enjoy the mystery around his identity — but I couldn’t help but notice for the hour or so that I spent in Croydon there was one person that was sort of watching from afar, with his friend. And later, when scrolling through Instagram, I couldn’t help but notice the same face. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, a loyal fan, or really nothing. Below shows a snap of the person at the new installation, on the right is the photo that has been banded about the Internet as Robin Gunningham — the person many believe is Banksy. Quite similar, no?