With a clever wordplay on GDP and his usual British humour, the anti-artist-turned-prolific-brand Banksy is back in news, this time with an e-shop that echoes both his career trajectory and views. With his new homeware and art website Gross Domestic Product, the critical thinker is using the platform to comment on the current state of arts in general. In trademark style, the tagline of the website reads ‘Where art irritates life”.
Earlier this week, Banksy had shared a teaser on his Instagram page, and announced the limited opening in Croydon, London, of ‘The store that never opens’. Albeit the location is just a showroom exhibiting all his new art pieces, the pieces listed on the site are only available online.
Though being seen by many as a publicity stunt, the operation is more representative of a legal battle with a greetings card company over a trademark.“This shop has come about as a result of legal action. A greeting cards company are trying to seize legal custody of the name Banksy from the artist, who has been advised that the best way to prevent this is to sell his own range of branded merchandise,” a statement reads. “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.”, the statement concludes.
“Sometimes you go to work and it’s hard to know what to paint, but for the past few months I’ve been making stuff for the sole purpose of fulfilling trademark categories under EU law,” the artist said, admitting the subject matter is “not a very sexy muse”.
The collection is described as ”impractical and offensive” featuring police helmets made out of disco balls and a stab-proof vest with a Union Jack on it that was also sported by British rapper Stormzy.
Prices range from £10 for the Banksy™ Mug to £850 for the Banksy™ Vest. Our favourites include the official Banksy™ Shredded Tee, referencing his 2018 Sotheby auction spray painting, which sold for US$1.4 million and was destroyed on the spot by a shredder embedded in the frame of the painting. His painting ‘Devolved Parliament’ auctioned two weeks ago for over $12 millions, almost exactly a year to the day since his ‘Girl With Balloon’ got shredded.
More information and products on Gross Domestic Products.