Sad news: Fake Banksy pieces sell better than real ones (video)

Three artists sold out of fake Banksy pieces at $60 a pop in Central Park—the reverse of the controversial artist’s stunt earlier this month, but with success.

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The latest Banksy piece from "Better Out Than In," October 18

The latest Banksy piece from "Better Out Than In," October 18 Photograph: Jessica Lin

Remember when Banksy set up a stand in Central Park a couple weeks ago and sold his work anonymously? Well, maybe tried to sell his work is more appropriate. The prank-loving British artist made only three sales, even though he priced his pieces at just $60 a pop—they're said to be worth tens of thousands of dollars each. You can read more about the wall-sprayer's stunt on his blog; it's part of his monthlong "pop-up" residency in town, which has mainly involved posting daily online to reveal the location of his newest artwork. Therein follows a mad dash by New Yorkers eager to be the first to locate the new graffiti.


A week after the Central Park debacle, three artists flipped the script. Dave Cicirelli, Lance Pilgrim and George Gross set up in the same spot in the park with a booth hawking the exact same works—fake versions, that is. Every canvas included a legally notarized "certificate of inauthenticity," buyers were duly informed that their purchases were not original, and the works were clearly marked as fake. Didn't stop a soul, though—the stand sold out its wares in an hour.


The clever hustlers wrote up their social experiment on Fakebook, Cicirelli's blog. "In [the] echo of media hype, we saw an opportunity for a little mischief, and a chance to make a statement about the nature of hype, public personas and the value of art," the hoax artist wrote. You can watch the video embedded below to see the con with your very own eyes.


(h/t Gawker)



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