Gross Domestic Product. Croydon, October 2019

The pop-up show opened on 1 October on Church Street in Croydon, just a few miles south of London. If Dismaland was Banksy’s caricature of an amusement park, Gross Domestic Product is Banksy’s caricature of consumer society and shopping hysteria.

The reason for opening 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

The official GDP – trailer:

Art appreciation in the Cronx / Banksyfilm

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 is the big mural in Dover, unveiled on 7 May 2017. The second piece contributed 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

Unique Banksy retrospective at Lazarides. 12 July 2018

Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides opened an interesting exhibition at his Mayfair gallery of some of Banksy’s most coveted oil paintings, labelled “Greatest Hits 2002 – 2008”. At the centre of the show are seven unique pieces from the 2005 “Crude Oil” exhibition. One can also find the original paintings of some of the most iconic prints, such as “Christ with shopping bags”, “Barcode Leopard”, and “Trolleys”. The exhibition runs until 25 August.

Photos: R.A.

Banksy at the Royal Academy of Arts. 11 June 2018.

Banksy made it into the Royal Academy of Arts with a piece on the Brexit referendum. The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) celebrates its 250th anniversary with an extended summer exhibition. In his own words:

“I entered an early version of this into the RA summer exhibition under the pseudonym Bryan S Gaakman – an anagram of ‘banksy anagram’. It was refused. Then a month later I got a mail from the co-ordinator Grayson Perry asking me to submit something so I sent it again. It’s now hanging in gallery 3.”

Banksy Inside - Vote to love - 20180612.jpeg

Screenshot: Banksy’s Instagram

The Walled Off Hotel. Palestine, March 2017.

The Walled Off Hotel is the latest big exhibition by Banksy, with more than 20 new originals. The hotel is a piece of art in itself and effectively mixes art, politics, and tourism. On the ground floor are approx. 15 new Banksy studio pieces and a museum commemorating “a hundred years since the British took control of Palestine and helped kick start a Century of confusion and conflict”. There are eight bookable hotel rooms on the upper floor, some of which are decorated by Banksy. There is also an exhibition hall with local Palestinian artists, among them Suleyman Mansour.

Photos: R.A.

The official video clip from the opening of Walled Off Hotel:

Dismaland. August – September 2015.

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 27 September 2015, 36 days later. Banksy described it as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.” 4,000 tickets were available for purchase per day, priced at £3 each.

The show featured 58 artists of the 60 Banksy initially invited to participate. The list included Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Tracy Emin, Jeff Gillette, David Shrigley, Paco Pomet, Escif, Peter Kennard and many more.

Banksy created approx. 15 new works for Dismaland:

Some of Banksy’s pieces at Dismaland. Photos: R.A.

The official Dismaland trailer:

Better Out Than In. New York, October 2013.

On 1 October, Banksy began a one-month residency on the streets of New York. 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’s art for just $60 each. The artist wrote in a note on his website: “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 staffed 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 $214,000Source: Wikipedia.

Chronological sequence, from 1 to 31 October:

Banksy published a film clip where he summarised his New York residency:

MOCA. Los Angeles, April 2011.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, MOCA, held a collective Street Art exhibition in April 2011. Banksy participated with versions of old work and some new stuff. The “Forgive us our trespassing” – the graffiti boy praying – was a collaboration between Banksy and a local art school.

All photos:

Banksy vs Bristol Museum. June 2009.

“In the summer of 2009 Bristol Museum & Art Gallery was taken over by an extraordinary exhibition of works by the infamous Bristol artist Banksy.  Overnight the museum was transformed into a menagerie of Unnatural History – fishfingers swimming in a gold-fish bowl, hot-dogs and chicken nuggets. Paintings were placed in amongst the historic collections of Old Masters, sculptures and other pieces dotted around throughout the museum displays. The main entrance was transformed into a sculpture hall, accompanied by a burnt out ice-cream van that pumped out an eerie sound-track of warped tunes, whilst a giant ice-cream melted on its roof.

Before long, people queued around the block to get into the exhibition, some as long as seven hours just to be part of this unique phenomenon. Over 100 works by the artist – most of which had not been shown before – were displayed.

Banksy left one sculpture behind. Pictured above is the Angel Bust – or the paint-pot angel which is currently on display at the museum. He also gave another work to the museum of a sculpture of Jerusalem, which was made by another artist called Tawfiq Salsaa – you can see it in our online collection.”  Source: Bristol Museum