Banksy, the British graffiti artist whose works have sold for as much as $249,000, says he sold his artwork at a sidewalk kiosk in Central Park over the weekend for only $60 apiece.
Banksy wrote on his website that he had set up a stall in Central Park on Saturday with original signed works but also warned on Sunday: “That stall will not be there again today.”
With original signed art works adorning the wire walls of his kiosk, Banksy set up shop next to stenciled signs reading, “Spray Art” and $60.”
A hidden camera recorded his ‘art sale’ which featured a gray-haired man who yawns as he sits in a chair, being ignored by thousands of clueless passerby’s.
USA Today reports:
Saying he was redecorating and just needed “something for the walls”, the man was one of only three people to buy pieces from the stall, part of Banksy’s “residency on the streets of New York”.
A woman from New Zealand bought two of the small canvasses for $120 (£75) while another woman bought a pair for her young children, having haggled the vendor down to $60 (£37.50) – half-price.
It was unclear from a hidden-camera video whether they had any idea they were purchasing signed originals by the world-famous graffiti artist, whose pieces sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Thousands of other New Yorkers and tourists walked past the stall, which had been open for hours before the first sale, unaware of the potential goldmine of modern art that was on sale.
The pieces on offer included a version of well-known Banksy works such as “Flower Thrower”, which adorns the cover of Wall & Piece, his 2005 hardback retrospective, and “Laugh Now”.
A triptych containing two similar black-on-white versions of these two works, alongside a third piece, sold for £121,250 at auction in London in 2008.
A simple sign on the stall declared the works only to be “spray art”.
However, in a cryptic clue to their provenance, one of the most prominent canvasses read: “This is not a photo opportunity”.
The stall, believed to have been erected on the lower-east side of Central Park on Saturday, was the 13th installment of “Better Out Than In”, the artist’s month-long public project in New York.
He has been leaving new works on walls and doors around the city, before prompting treasure hunts among fans by posting photographs and approximate locations for the paintings on his website.
Several of the pieces have been quickly defaced by rival graffiti artists, while one was covered with a cardboard box by enterprising local youngsters, who then charged passersby $5 (£3) to view it.
By the time Banksy posted news of his Central Park stall, it had already closed. “Please note: This was a one off,” he wrote on his website. “The stall will not be there again today”.
Watch Bansky’s art sale below: