Banksy opens homeware shop to protect his name

Banksy installation
(Image credit: Banksy)

Elusive street art (opens in new tab) legend Banksy has set up his own homeware shop in response to a greeting card company that tried to obtain legal rights to the name 'Banksy'. To accompany the launch of the online store, named Gross Domestic Product, Banksy has also set up a mock showroom installation in Croydon, South London.

Appearing out of the blue on Tuesday on the site of a former carpet shop, the Gross Domestic Product installation contains the clever mix of warped pop culture icons and charged social commentary we've come to expect from the artist. And that includes the Union Jack vest worn by Stormzy (opens in new tab) at this year's Glastonbury festival.

The Gross Domestic Product installation will be in Croydon for the next two weeks. And on Instagram (opens in new tab), Banksy added that it's for display purposes only. "I’m opening a shop today (although the doors don't actually open)," he said. "It’s in Croydon. Probably best viewed at night."

A flyer from the installation reveals why Banksy felt the need to set up a shop where "art irritates life".

"This shop has come about as a result of legal action," the flyer reads. "A greetings cards company are trying to sieze [sic] 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."

The products in question will retail from £10 upwards, and are said to be "handmade in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible. Including the ideas."

Items in the shop include sofa cushions emblazoned with the message "Life's too short to take advice from a cushion" and a gravestone that reads "You have now reached your destination". According to The Guardian (opens in new tab), proceeds from the sales will go towards buying a new migrant recuse boat to replace one that was confiscated by Italian authorities.

If you want to pick up a Gross Domestic Product original and help raise funds for a worthy cause, bookmark the store's homepage (opens in new tab), which currently displays a flooded shop floor with the message: "The homewares store from Banksy. Opening soon."

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.

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