Banksy might be one of the most disputed artists of all time. Who is he? Where does he live? Who owns his art? How does he make money? Why is he important? While we might not be able to answer most of these questions, here are a few things to know about Banksy’s been up to.
Gross Domestic Product
While the website for Gross Domestic Product so far is just a landing page, we can already see merchandise. From a disco ball police helmet to a Stormzy bullet-proof vest, the pieces seem to be more like collectible art and what are used to when it comes to Banksy products – endless T-shirts and IKEA-style prints. The launch of official merchandise is a legal necessity in Banksy’s battle for his trademark. Currently represented and authenticated by Pest Control, Banksy has never been making use of his trademark – to which there are now lawful claims. Securing his pieces of art through copyright, Banksy ended up in a catch-22 situation. Starting a copyright legal action would require Pest Control to show that it has acquired the copyright from the artist. But this would reveal Banksy’s real name, which the famously anonymous artist wants to avoid.
‘Devolved Parliament’ sold for £9.9 million in 13 minutes
Banksy’s ‘Devolved Parliament’ oil painting, which swaps MPs for Chimpanzees in the House of Commons, sold at auction for almost £9.9 million on October 3, 2019. Stretching nearly 4 metres, the art was created by the artist over a decade ago, for the Banksy takeover of Bristol museum. The bidding only last 13 minutes, the hype around the painting having accelerated with the approaching Brexit deadline.
The auction came a year after the shocking stunt at Sotheby’s where Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ graffiti mural was intentionally shredded by the artist, moments after selling for more than £1 million.
Artists who destroyed their work way before Banksy, and an online art-shredder
Artists are incredibly emotional beings and it’s hardly surprising that destroying one’s work is practically...
Banksy might be in Edinburgh
A couple of days ago a piece of anti-Olympic street art appeared in the port of Leith, north of Edinburgh. This is not the first piece by Banksy on the topic, yet the meaning of it is highly disputed. While no one know for sure, Banksy is believed to have been born in Bristol in 1974.
Also published on Medium.