Instead of using words, Banksy provides social commentary with spray paint. The London-based street artist is known for his illustrative activism; he is, however, an enigma. We don’t know what he looks like and we don’t fully understand him. This, perhaps, is the element that we find so appealing.
Numbers are a testament to his worldwide popularity. In 2011, one of his paintings fetched $228,043 at Christie’s, and other pieces rarely go for less than $40,000.
This was not the case last week. On 12 October, Banksy posted on his website: “Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each.” The stand, which sat in Central Park for the afternoon, was manned by an unassuming older gentleman. He made $420 dollars throughout the course of the afternoon – and hours passed between each purchase. One customer even bargained and got her two pieces for half price. You can watch Banksy’s surreptitious video of the experience here.
Lessons learned from Banksy: Marketing matters. No mention of Banksy’s name was made at the stand, so most passerby’s simply wrote the paintings off as imitations. Had he advertised the event in advance, Central Park would have been transformed into a madhouse. Now how’s that for an offbeat marketing lesson?
Image Credit: [Banksy Official Site]