Earlier this month, street artist Banksy held an impromptu sale of his stencils on canvas in a New York street. He only managed to sell eight works to three customers across a full day of trading. Yesterday, a fake Banksy held an impromptu sale on a New York street. He sold all 40 of his works in one hour.
The sale was created by artists Dave Cicirelli and Lance Pilgrim. They copied Banksy's own sale from a week earlier, setting up a stall in the same location, with the same signage, selling copies of Banksy's works for the same price — $60 — as the original artist. The only difference: the stall was clearly marked as a fake. Salesman Michael Pilgrim posed for pictures with buyers holding a sign clearly marked "Fake Banksy," and all purchases came with a Certificate of Inauthenticity.
Such clear notification of fakery — plus Banksy himself stating that his earlier, unannounced sale was a one-off — didn't deter a flock of New York residents from posing for photos and picking Cicirelli and Pilgrim's stall clean. Demand was so great that when the stall had run out of stenciled canvases, a customer bought the price sign.
The stall was clearly marked "Fake Banksy," but sold out within one hour
Cicirelli spoke to ANIMAL about his stall, saying that he and his collaborators "wanted to complete [Banksy's] statement about the nature of hype and the value of art." It's not the first time Banksy's works have been appropriated by New York residents during the artist's time in the city. Earlier this month, a local group began charging for viewings of a Banksy beaver stenciled on a wall in East New York. Many of his other works have been tagged over or removed entirely. The artist's "pointless" Better Out Than In show will continue in the city until the end of October.