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Category: Real Estate

Did you bag a Banksy bargain for $60?

 Published: Monday, 14 Oct 2013 | 8:13 AM ET
By:  | Deputy News Editor, CNBC.com

His artworks have sold for over $1 million, but this weekend the infamous graffiti artist Banksy sold canvases for just $60 at a stall in New York.

The elusive artist set up a stand with about 30 canvases alongside others selling tourist art in Central Park on Saturday but did not publicize that the works were signed originals.

He put a video of the event on his website Sunday with the text, “Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100 percent authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each.”


The retailing was part of Banksy’s monthlong New York residency, called “Better Out Than In.” As part of the project, the artist is producing a new piece of street art each day in October.

The British graffiti artist, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, has gone from daubing the streets of his home city, Bristol, to becoming the world’s most famous spray-paint satirist, with a number of celebrity fans.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt famously spent $1 million on Banksy’s work after “discovering” it at an L.A. art auction, and his “Keep It Spotless” was sold through Sotheby’s for $1.8 million in 2008, according to media reports at the time.

But on Saturday, some lucky people in New York got the chance to bag a bargain at the Central Park stall, run by an unassuming white-haired man wearing a cap and glasses.


Andrew Burton | Getty Images
A Banksy work is seen in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City

The first sale came at 3.30 p.m., according to the video, when a woman bought two small pieces after negotiating the price to $30 each.

She was followed, half an hour later, by a woman from New Zealand who also bought two pieces.

But the luckiest passerby was a Chicago man who spent $240 on four Banksy canvases.

“I just need something for the walls,” the man said, according to the video.


The stallholder shut up shop at 6.00 p.m.—with lots of merchandise left—having taken in a total of $460.

Anyone hoping to get to the stall to take advantage of the bargain Banksys will be disappointed.

“Please note: This was a one-off. The stall will not be there again today,” a statement said on the artist’s website.

As part of “Better Out Than In,” Banksy has produced his recognizable wall graffiti, converted a New York delivery truck into a mobile garden—complete with “rainbow, waterfall and butterflies”—and filled a slaughterhouse delivery van in the Meatpacking District with stuffed animals.

But his U.S. residency has been controversial, with a number of his New York artworks defaced, angering fans.

Earlier this year, Banksy was caught in the middle of the debate over who owns street art when a third party removed a section of a London wall that he had stenciled and eventually put it up for bid at the Fine Art Auctions Miami.