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The elusive artist known as Banksy recently opened a storefront in London to sell his socially-minded art. He did?? That does not sound like him. Well, it is and it isn’t.

Banksy did open a store, called Gross Domestic Product, with his work on display, but there was a non-traditional reason behind it. Which is very Banksy. A greeting card company contested Banksy’s trademark, so they could sell imitation work legally, reports UrbanDaddy. 

He was not having it.

Arts lawyer Mark Stephens advised Banksy on his legal rights, releasing a statement saying: “Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear – if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will.”

Well, there was an easy fix to that. Banksy created his own line of (non-shoddy) merchandise, including welcome mats made of life preservers that washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean.

Here’s a peek at a window display from the Church Street location in Croydon, South London:

Banksy isn’t one to sit back and have someone speak for him, he himself said, “[This is] possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art.” Even so, he made this happen without anyone knowing, filling the shop overnight, topped-up with a plethora of thinker pieces.

The whole kit and caboodle can be seen in the below:

Apparently the space had been empty for a while, according to neighbors. It was going unused and Banksy gave it purpose. The doors didn’t actually open and it was more of a “you can look, but not touch” policy. The store was up and running for two weeks only and it just closed yesterday (darnit!!), but hopefully that was long enough for him to retain his trademark and make his point.

If you’re keen on following the progress of his merchandise line, the Gross Domestic Product online shop will be “opening soon.” 

We love it when Banksy pops up out of nowhere, what about you!?  

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Filed Under: Banksy
By Brigid Brown