The mysterious worldwide famous British artist has just “opened” a Banksy shop in London. The shop, called “Gross Domestic Product”, is Banksy’s latest stunt. But what is the main reason behind it?
In 2010 Banksy decided to register his artist name as a trademark to prevent other businesses to use his name for commercial purposes.
This year Banksy sued Milan’s Mudec Museum for using his name to promote the exhibition and selling merchandise. In January, an Italian court ordered the Museum to stop selling all of Banksy merchandise.
Now Banksy is apparently fighting another legal dispute over the use of his trademark with a greeting cards company.
However, in order to keep his trademark effective, Banksy needs to use it for commercial purposes.
To solve the issue, Banksy came up with the genius idea to open “GDP” in Croydon, London. The pop-up shop will stay open for a limited period of time, not yet know. Even though visitors can not enter the physical shop, Banksy is going to sell all the merchandise online. It is unclear when the sale will start, but it will probably be once the Banksy shop will close its doors. All the proceeds from the sale are going towards buying a new rescue boat.
What is Banksy selling in his shop?
Officially, “Gross Domestic Product” is a homewares shop. Banksy shop will sell a variety of products, including welcome mats that were produced using life vests found on the Mediterranean’s shores. The welcome mats were hand-stitched by women in refugees camps in Greece.
Another product on display is the original or perfect copy of the stab vest worn by Stormzy during his performance at Glastonbury Festival.
Other artworks on sale include a fake tiger carpet depicting “Tony the Tiger”, the cartoon figure used by Kellog’s for its Frosties cereals, and a triptych of the famous “Flower Thrower”.
Banksy said that people will have the opportunity to buy the merchandise for a starting price of £10.
Where is “Gross Domestic Product” located?
Banksy Shop is located in Croydon, the birth city of Stormzy. It is not confirmed if there is a relationship between the location of the shop and the professional relationship between the British Rapper and Banksy. But since Glastonbury, is it clear that the two are close and Stormzy might have had some influence on the decision.
The space in which “Gross Domestic Product” is located it’s an abandoned carpet store. Overnight Banksy transformed the space into a huge art installation/ shop.
Banksy managed to, once again, surprise everyone. This stunt of actually opening a pop-up shop overnight to win a legal dispute over the use of his trademark is genius. But that’s not the only reason why this stunt is so incredible.
The opening coincides with the most important art week of the year, as London hosts Frieze Art Fair and 1-54. Furthermore, it is probably not a coincidence that Banksy opened the shop away from the major art events. It seems as Banksy, with the opening of his shop, wants to drag away the attention from the main art attractions happening in the city centre of London to the up-and-coming area of Croydon.
Finally, with the decision to only sell the merchandise online at a non-specified date, he is able to keep the attention and hype on him last. Simply Genius.