Friday 18 April 2014

Banksy originals sold off for less than €25: Artist's latest stunt sees work flogged for bargain prices

One man from Chicago bought four pieces at a fraction of their real value

Last week some opportunistic New Yorkers took advantage of a Banksy graffiti artwork in their area by covering it up with cardboard and charging visitors $20 for the privilege of seeing it.

But this past weekend, for just a few dollars more, you could have walked off with your own Banksy piece after the British graffiti artist set up a stall in Central Park flogging original canvases at bargain prices.

A stall, manned by an elderly fellow, only attracted three customers over the course of one day despite selling $60 (€44) versions of Banksy's signature works, including "Flower Thrower".

The artist's website said: "Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100 per cent authentic original signed Banksy canvases."

A YouTube video showed just how slow the day's business was. The first sale came at 3.30pm when, after negotiating a half price knockdown, a lady walked off with two small canvases for her children at $30 (€22) apiece.

At 4pm, a woman from New Zealand bought two, but paid full price. Just 20 minutes before the stall shut up shop at 6pm, a man from Chicago who was decorating his house bought four.

According to the artist, he said: "I just need something for the walls." The stall-holder hugged him as he parted with his cash.

All in all, Banksy made just $420 (€310) in what could be a comment on the over-inflated commercial cost of art when compared to your everyday man on the street's perception of its real value.

Also new in Banksy's month-long residency of New York is an innocuous if charming "Concrete Confessional" in Manhattan, a small stencil of a Priest. Sadly, it has already been defaced with a white beard.

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