In his latest stunt, the reclusive artist flogged copies of his better-known works at a stall in Central Park, manned by a poker-faced man in his sixties—who was not Banksy.
"Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases," he wrote on his blog. "For $60 each." At 3:30 p.m. the first sale occurred, to a woman who bought a couple of canvases for her kids. She negotiated a 50% discount.
Don't bother rushing over to the Park this morning. The artist signed off thus: "Please note: This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today."
The Bristol-born artist gave an interview via email to the Village Voice last week explaining the thought behind Better Out Than In, his month-long exhibition of street art in the city. "There is absolutely no reason for doing this show at all," he wrote. "I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There's no gallery show or book or film. It's pointless. Which hopefully means something."
There was a price tag attached in this instance, of course. But it didn't exactly make the artist rich: Total sales for the day were $420.