Banksy sells paintings at deep discounts in Central Park


I’ve been binge watching Antiques Roadshow and so I have been thinking about this issue of values and locations where people buy.

For every discerning yard sale thrift buyer who happens upon a Tiffany watch in a box of junk jewelry, there must be thousands of other yard sale buyers who spend hours and hours combing through crap who never do find a Tiffany watch.

On the other hand, a person wants a genuine Tiffany watch, goes to a reputable seller who can guarantee that this is this is the real thing, they make the transaction, they have what they want with very little time invested.

Yes, it’s possible to buy something valuable from a street vendor if you have a keen eye; some of those people one day will be famous. Maybe some already are and are spoofing you (like this), or just currently not placed in a gallery. But, most of the time on the streets you find touristy crap, just as most of the time at yard sales you find people’s discarded out of date home goods.

Wealthier people place a value on their time. People who have less money to spend but good taste can spend more time seeking out items with value.

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We have an annual postcard art thing in London where famed artists contribute. All the cards cost the same. You may end up with a ringer, you may end up with a Banksy.

I like it. He reminds me how nuts the price of art is. It’s such a shame, because I deeply believe everyone benefits from good art. Especially kids.

Whatever one’s views, he gets publicity.


Even though I’m an artist myself I’m not really interested in trying to “get inside the head” of the rarefied art market but what I don’t quite understand is - - - Banksy is basically just using his tried and true stencils to spray onto those canvases, right? I get how they have value because he has ostensibly signed them and they are real paint on real canvas (as opposed to prints etc) but does he limit this kind of output? I mean, surely, such stuff can’t continue to maintain sky-high prices if he’s spraying the same design on loads of canvases, right? I guess with work like this the original is what makes it onto a wall somewhere and these canvas stencils become kind of a limited edition ‘print’?

Umbrellas sell faster than that on a sunny day.


Might very well be one of the points Banksy is making obvious to the nation.

I like to think he imagines billionaires justifying their multi-dozen-thousand cost of purchasing a signed Banksy print when the very same thing was picked up for $30 outside a 7-11.

Interestingly, when I was living in England(Leeds, to be specific) there was a bit of a fad for Banksy gear, and every second student had a banksy print or three on a wall or shelf.

The key word being print - you could hardly hurl a brick without hitting a little pop-up kiosk either selling or printing pictures of Banksy’s graffiti and then being arrested for hurling bricks around like a fucking lunatic.


The vid really shows something - everyday people walk by famous artist art without hesitating to ignore it. Reminds me of the famous violin busker a whiles back.

Whether it’s because Banksy is so massively replicated, or simply that people in general don’t assign value to art, they’re just walking by obliviously.

I dare a gallery to do this with some Van Goghs.

And there was a double-decker London bus in the pics. Give it back.

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So, did the cameraman follow the vendor to try and determine Banksy’s identity? Oh, looks like the cameraman works for Banksy, too.

If he’s using the same stencil to make multiple… objects to sell, aren’t those “prints” rather than “originals” no matter who’s holding the spray can?

Anyway, I’ve long since decided the art world is one giant Discordian prank where Eristic artists and Aneristic brokers/buyers/etc. mutually contribute to chaos.


Recursive, right?

I’m sure a lot of the low sales were because of doubt of its authenticity. If I saw a stall set up on the street that was claiming to be selling genuine works of a famous artist for low-ball prices, I’d assume that it wasn’t legit. I’d assume they were knock-offs. It’s like if someone was selling Rolexes on the street corner for 20 bucks. You wouldn’t assume they were the real deal and that it was a super special opportunity to own a real Rolex for next to nothing. You’d assume that they were counterfeit. Especially with an artist known for being elusive like Banksy. He’d be a wonderful artist to pull such a scam with. He’s exactly the kind of artist who some could be convinced that he would do such a thing as set up a pop-up shop of rock-bottom priced art on the street and also not easy to authenticate whether the shop is real since he’s not easily recognized by sight and not super easy to contact to verify the authenticity of the shop. So it’s not like folks just wouldn’t drop a couple bucks for a Banksy, it’s that they wouldn’t drop a couple bucks for what was a whole lot more likely to be an absolutely worthless scam.


Coupled with the vendor who was likely coached to maximize the likelihood of this outcome.

Even if I happened to like one of the pieces visually, I still would have been unlikely to buy it there out of not wanting to support a scammer. If it was clearly labeled Banksy posters, or “Banksy Style” knock-off, okay, maybe it’d be worth a couple bucks if it were something I wanted to hang up in my house. But I wouldn’t want to give someone pretending to be selling originals a penny for it.

Rodin did the same thing and his stuff has held its value.

I am sooooo butthurt that I couldnt take advantage of this. I’ve always wanted a genuine banksy.

Considering his PRINTS are selling on art brokerage in the $15,000-18,000 range and these are original artwork, spraypaint on canvas (even though they are stencils) I dont even want to speculate what these could resale for.

A “laugh now” chimp stenciled on red painted canvas sold in London for $342,995,

This mona lisa is spraypaint on artboard, it sold for $334,914


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You can buy lots and lots and lots of high quality art at the lowest prices if you buy from good, unfamous artists. Of course, if you value art in relation to its success, we’re not talking art value but speculative value and prices are high. You can also buy a rare nintendo cartridge for 30.000 $ and declare that the prices for used vintage games are just crazy. Doesn’t have much to do with the quality of the piece itself, though :wink:

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Haha! One more proof for me that BANKSY is, above all, the king of trolls. Didn’t he get us all to thinking “Ah, would I have passed by and bought a dozen of these!”. But then again, would we? I would have presumed these were cheap knockoffs. And I would have been even madder. And even more trolled by master troll BANKSY.
That’s not to say that he’s not a good artist aswell :wink:


i first thought that if you had a video tape of the whole scene, with the videographer shooting the stall/man in your frame, then you’d probably have the reclusive artist on tape, no? you can’t tell me he’s across town having a sandwich all day, he’s standing right there, ‘anonymously’ watching/selling/performing/recording, drinking a coffee and getting some footage - I’m betting that if this isn’t a hoax, then Banksy’s the cameraman

Agreed. I’ve got a few pics I picked up, around $500, that are fantastic. I don’t have money to buy art, but there it is.

The trick seems to be finding an artist before they really hit their stride, as they cross from goofy stuff to images that appeal emotionally to me. I don’t work in art so … I have my work cut out.

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