Last week saw the unveiling in London of Street Artist Banksy’s latest stunt in the capital, on this occassion taking to Croydon to present ‘Gross Domestic Product’ a storefront containing branded merchandise. A poster in the shop window declares “GDP is the homewares brand from Banksy and this is our first and only store. The showroom is for display purposes only and the doors will not open. All sales will be conducted online when the website opens soon.”
The inspiration for this installation has come about “as 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.”
Presenting a mixture of old new subjects it has unsurprisingly attracted quite a bit of attention with people to be seen enjoying the display by day and by night and traveling from near and far in order to do so. Although this is not the first time Banksy has exhibited his works in storefront installations, this is the first time that the items are for sale: “We hope to offer something for everyone, prices start from £10 but availability will be limited – all of these products are hand made in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible, including the ideas.”
Banksy announced last night on Instagram that “The shop that never opens will close this weekend.” So if you haven’t already, are London based and wish to catch the fantastic display of works which exemplify the artists dark satirical and all so clever take on society then you better head down soon. Gross Domestic Product can be found at 12-20 Crown Hill, Croydon.
“Baby Mobile – Banksy has created the ultimate ceiling mounted stimulus toy to prepare your little one for the journey ahead – a lifetime of constant scrutiny both state sanctioned and self imposed. Doesn’t rotate very well, some self assembly required.”
“Clock – Upcycled from an office supplies store, this timepiece features a trademark Banksy rat and is suitable for home, office or Home Office. The precision mechanism requires 1x AA battery to accurately mark our steady ticking towards the great unkown.”
“Rug — A bit of old carpet painted to resemble the diabetes riddled corpse of Tony the Tiger, this floor covering makes quite the conversation piece – especially if the conversation centres around the UK spending over £7.8million a year on tooth extractions for the under 5’s. Carpet with resin head. Suitable for vegetarians.”
“Vest – A Version of the ‘John Bull’ English gents waistcoat updated for modern times. This customised body armour is capable of stopping up to .45 calibre and is fully stab proof. As worn by Stormzy at Glastonbury festival (becuase its very dangerous there).”
“Tombstone – What do you buy for the person who has everything? A 230kg reminder that you can’t take it with you. Hand carve by Banksy in a slab of Portland stone. Collection only – from the quarry.”
“Clutchbag – This fashion-forward accessory is made from a genuine real life house brick and is perfect for the kind of person who doesn’t carry much but might need to whack someone in the face. Probably no less practical than the output of most haute couture fashion houses.”
“Ultra HD TV – Perfect for the snowflake generation, a 55 inch colour TV with a big Banksy painte on it. Whilst totally fine from an art point of view, this does impare viewing quality.”
“Welcome Mat – This hard wearing floor covering is hand stitched from life vests abandoned on the beaches of Leavos by migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Customers are advised that they no longer constitute a valid buoyancy aid – although shockingly they never did – many are cheap fakes sold by people smugglers and don’t actually float.
To fabricate these mats Banksy has teamed up with the organization ‘Love Welcomes’ who work with women in detainment camps in Greece. All proceeds are retained locally to help refugees access key services.”