Gross Domestic Product. Croydon, October 2019

The pop-up show opened  1 October on Church Street in Croydon, just a few miles south of London. If Dismaland was Banksy’s caricature on an amusement park, Gross Domestic Product is Banksy’s caricature on consumer society and shopping hysteria. The reason to open the store is not only artistic – there is a trademark dispute between Banksy and a greeting-cards company using the Banksy brand while selling products with Banksy motives.

According to DACS (the not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation in the UK) chairman and media lawyer Mark Stephens: “… the law clearly states that if the trademark holder is not using the mark then it should be handed to someone who will.”  The apparent solution: Create a merchandise range and open a shop.

In Banksy’s own words: “Everything in the store “has been created specifically to fulfill a particular trademark category under EU law”, Banksy says. “I had the legal sheet pinned up in the studio like a muse.” He adds: “John Lennon said: ‘I’m an artist, give me a tuba and I’ll get something out of it.’ I feel the same way about a trademark dispute.”

Photos: R.A.

The goods on display will be sold on the website www.grossdomesticproduct.com

Banksy reveals planned update for Brexit mural in Dover. 13 September 2019

The anti-Brexit mural was originally painted in May 2017. On 25 August 2019, a massive scaffolding was raised over the mural. On 10 September, the scaffolding was taken down, and the piece of art was gone. Whether the painting had been removed from the wall, or, if it had been whitewashed, is unclear. A few days later, Banksy published his plans for the mural for the day of the Brexit:20190913 Instagram.png Screenshot from Banksy’s Instagram. The lone craftsman and the flag crumpled on the ground

In his own words:

“Oh.
I had planned that on the day of Brexit I was going to change the piece in Dover to this..
But seems they’ve painted over it.
Nevermind. I guess a big white flag says it just as well.”

 

Installation at Royal Academy of Arts. 11 June 2019.

Banksy’s take on Brexit is well known as we have seen in three pieces during the last two years. The first being the big mural in Dover, unveiled on 7 May 2017. The second piece was the contribution to last year’s summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts with the “Vote to Love”. And this year, Banksy is back at the RAA summer exhibition with an “Archway salvaged from Heathrow Airport”.

Photo: Banksy’s Instagram