Art world provocateur Banksy has opened a pop-up shop/art installation in the London suburb of Croydon. The show is called Gross Domestic Product and it opened yesterday as a display in a former homewares store and will run for the next two weeks.
Per The Guardian, Banksy launched the shop — which won’t open its doors, but will apparently sell merchandise online — as a way to protect his art’s trademark. “A greetings card company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art,” he wrote in a statement. “And attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.”
Arts lawyer Mark Stephens explained his dilemma to The Guardian: “Banksy is in a difficult position. Because he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear — if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will.” Proceeds from the sale of Banksy’s merchandise will go to purchasing a new migrant rescue boat in Italy.
There’s a couple items of music notability in the display in Croydon: The stab-proof vest that Banksy designed and Stormzy wore when he performed at Glastonbury earlier this year, and a crumpled up piece of paper titled “Screwed up Morrisey [sic] poster.” The description for that one reads: “Celebrate the singer’s drift to the far right with this special collectors item – a vintage Morrisey [sic] poster screwed up into an angry ball.” (You can see that display in the photo above.)
Here are some photos from the installation: