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NYC pedestrians ignore art worth millions being sold for $60 a piece

Illustration for article titled NYC pedestrians ignore art worth millions being sold for $60 a piece

These black on white canvasses are signed Banksy originals, each of them worth tens of thousands of dollars. Yesterday, the British artist tried to sell them for $60 each in Central Park and failed. Only three people actually bought something, for a grand total of $420. The actual cost: an estimated $224,000.

Banksy has said in his site that he will not repeat the stunt. The artist is currently living in New York for a limited time. Since his arrival, he has thrown other public performances, like Sirens of the Lambs, in which he drove a cattle truck full of distressed stuffed animals to denounce the inhuman treatment in industrial farms and slaughterhouses.

[Banksy via El Mundo and The Guardian]

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DISCUSSION

I'm sorry, I love the statments that Banksy has made, but no spray painted stencil image is worth tens of thousands. That's a horrible inflation of value on par with paying a guy who can throw a ball fast millions to do it in several games during the year.

I've loved the complete gutsiness involved with superglueing your own canvased works of art to walls in art galleries, or the warpped phone booths, or the stunt on the wall in Palestine. And he deserves to be paid a living from his visual editorial commentary on western culture and values. But ten grand for a spray painted stencil... no. I don't make that much in nine month of minimum wage work and my work actually does something for the lives of the people I serve.

I don't blame him if he takes it. Heck it's a return on his years of unrecognized development in his art and artistic voice and a protection for his future in a feild without 401ks and health insurance. I think though it in itself is an artwork with a message too...

Like DuChamp it does a sort of calling out of the near fetishization of artistic prestige driving the value of a minimalist expression done with off the shelf materials (paper cut stencils and spray paint) to the levels of a years wages for lowly workers, and how outside of the context of the prestige given the creator the works actual apparent value amounts to not much.