“This is not a proper shop – it is an actual shop,” claims Banksy about his official online store, which launched this week. But not everyone is welcome here – the elusive street artist is stringently vetting potential buyers to prevent flipping.
Stormzy’s infamous stab vest that he wore at Glastonbury Festival 2019 is on sale too for only £850. Described as a traditional English waistcoat “updated for modern times“, it has been previously valued at “somewhere north of £200,000” by Joey Syer, co-founder of MyArtBroker.com.
If Banksy fans want to snap up some of these original works, they will have to register online and provide an answer explaining why art matters to them.
The independent judge, who will search for the most amusing and heart-felt responses, is professional stand-up comedian Adam Bloom. “We can’t ever weed out all the people who just want to flip for profit, but we can weed out the unfunny ones,” joked the graffitist.
Banksy’s distaste for the contemporary art market is well documented and inspired his notorious shredding prank at Sotheby’s last year. His new online shop is seemingly an attempt to control who buys and sells his work.
“Please refrain from registering at this time if you are a wealthy art collector,” demanded Banksy. Prices have also been fixed on the first releases “for lower income patrons.”
Anny Shaw, correspondent for the Art Newspaper, believed Banksy’s new venture is “a tongue-in-cheek poke at the market while at the same time attempting to wrestle some control of it.”
Artwork by Banksy could be moving into a secondary market territory as well. Approved by the artist’s dealership, the potential new platform is called ‘Bbay.’
Despite his ardent attempts, it would be impossible for Banksy to have complete and unwavering authority over the movement of his artwork in the art market.
According to art market adviser and analyst Ivan Macquisten, Banksy has “always been very controlling about his market…he’s got this whole idea about the art market being exploitative… which is great for somebody who’s making so much money out of it!”
Art lovers and dealers alike will have until 28 October to register for an unusual chance to buy affordable Banksy’s.