A new Banksy store has mysteriously opened in Croydon this week. It is a different kind of shop, since it is possible to view the products inside, but is not possible to enter the store. All the store items will be sold online. The store called Gross Domestic Product: Where Art Irritates Life is just one of the many satirical manifestations of the artist, on this occasion, in response to a legal dispute with a greeting card company.
As he explained, in a sheet left outside the shop: “this shop has come about a result of legal action. A greeting cards company are trying to seize legal custody of the name Banksy from the artist, who has been advised the best way to prevent this is to sell his own range of branded merchandise“. So Banksy has been forced to resort to a commercial operation as “one of the less poetic reasons“, to defend the poetry of his art, instead.
Nevertheless, he would never let himself to be eaten completely by those commercial purposes. He has decided to make the merchandise a tool to sustain the more “political reason” of his activism and ideas.
Not only are the products on sale, as he defined them, “impractical and offensive” – indeed, a police riot helmet disco ball or a toy truck filled with wooden dolls of migrants are some examples – but also, revenue from its sales will be used to purchase a new migrant rescue boat.
As the writing concludes. “All of these products are hand made in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible. Including ideas“.