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.”
The goods on display will be sold on the website www.grossdomesticproduct.com
In a new section on his official web, http://www.banksy.co.uk, Banksy reminds us that his own art-shows have been free of charge.
Screenshot from http://www.banksy.co.uk
The list of “real” Banksy shows in the column to the left are, in reverse order:
Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides opened a very interesting exhibition at his Mayfair gallery of some of Banksy’s most coveted oil paintings, labeled “Greatest Hits 2002 – 2008”. At the center of the exhibition are seven unique pieces from the 2005 “Crude Oil” exhibition. One can also find the original paintings to some of the most iconic prints, such as “Christ with shopping bags”, “Barcode Leopard” and “Trolleys”. The exhibition runs until 25 August.
The Walled Off Hotel is the latest big exhibition by Banksy with more than 20 new originals. The hotel is a joint venture between the Banksy team and a local Palestinian entrepreneur with a background in the London art world. The Walled Off Hotel mixes art, politics, and tourism in a very effective way. On the ground floor, there are 15 new Banksys and a museum commemorating “a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a Century of confusion and conflict.” On the upper level, there’s an exhibition hall with local Palestinian artists, among them Suleyman Mansour. The hotel in itself is a piece of political art in every aspect.
Dismaland was a temporary art project organised and financed by Banksy, constructed in the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Prepared in secret, the pop-up exhibition at the Tropicana, a disused lido, was “a sinister twist on Disneyland” that opened during the weekend of 21 August 2015 and closed permanently on September 27, 2015, 36 days later. Banksy described it as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.”
Banksy created ten new works and funded the construction of the exhibition himself. The show featured 58 artists of the 60 Banksy originally invited to participate. 4,000 tickets were available for purchase per day, priced at £3 each.
Grim Reaper at Dismaland
Banksy’s pieces on Dismaland. Photos: R.A.
On 1 October, Banksy began a one-month “show on the streets of New York”, for which he opened a separate website and twitter account. On every day for the rest of the month, he produced one street art piece in different locations.
A pop-up boutique of about 25 spray-art canvases appeared on Fifth Avenue near Central Park on 12 October. Tourists were able to buy Banksy art for just $60 each. In a note posted to his website, the artist wrote: “Please note this was a one-off. The stall will not be there again.” The BBC estimated that the street-stall art pieces could be worth as much as $31,000. The booth was manned by an unknown elderly man who went about four hours before making a sale, yawning and eating lunch as people strolled by without a second glance at the work. Banksy chronicled the surprise sale in a video posted to his website noting, “Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each.” Two of the canvasses sold at a July 2014 auction for $214,000. Source: Wikipedia.
Sequence from October 1 to 31:
Grim Reaper at Better Out in New York
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, MOCA, held a collective Street Art exhibition in April 2011 where Banksy participated with a room full of versions of old work but also some new stuff. The “Stained window” with the graffiti boy praying was a collaboration between Banksy and a local art school.
All photos: http://www.moca.com