The elusive Banksy is up to his tricks once again. This time with a Banksy shop cleverly named ‘Gross Domestic Product’ in Croydon, South London.
The premises, formerly a carpet shop, offers a variety of interesting Banksy homeware products, but there’s a catch… the doors will never open.
Situated at the Church Street end of Croydon Market Street, this new mock pop-up shop by Banksy is the latest in a long line of attention-grabbing stunts, but the reasoning behind it is even more interesting than normal.
It’s all about the trademark…
Apparently, according to a poster fastened to the shop, an unnamed greetings card company is trying to claim the Banksy trademark and the notorious stencil artist is having none of it.
In a statement, Banksy said, “A greetings card company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.”
Mark Stephens, an arts lawyer and founder of the Design and Artists Copyright Society, suggested a novel way for Banksy to hold on to his trademark – to launch his homeware range and shop… and Gross Domestic Product was born.
So, what’s on offer?
The shop fronts show numerous settings revealing the Banksy products available, all in a Banksy-esque way of course.
Among the many items on offer, there are welcome mats that have incorporated material from refugee life jackets. Children’s toys featuring trucks that you can load with refugee dolls. Clocks with his infamous rats and disco balls made from police riot helmets.
But as we mentioned, the doors will never open to the shop. It’s simply a display. If you’re wanting to grab yourself a Banksy homeware product, you’ll have to wait until the online shop www.grossdomesticproduct.com opens. With prices for items starting at around £10 there will be plenty of people frantically hitting refresh in the hope to grab a Banksy bargain.
And before you think this is just a money-making stunt for the already-wealthy artist, apparently all proceeds will be going towards a new rescue boat to assist with the rescue of refugees.
We can’t deny the fact we love what Banksy does and the messages behind his work, so if you want to read more on our thoughts, here’s some of our other articles on the stencil artist…
and here’s some other useful links you might be interested in: