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Banksy pieces in HMV

This week HMV in London’s Oxford Street is proudly displaying two original Banksy works to coincide with the release of Exit Through The Gift Shop on DVD. According to Press Association reports (and some of the store staff themselves) HMV were just expecting some run of the mill promotional displays but ended up with a very decent duo of excellent pieces, one in the window and one in the aisles.

It’s not the first time Banksy has appeared around this area of Oxford Street. Back in 2008 one of his largest pieces was painted a short walk away in Newman Street. It’s also not the first time there’s been a connection with HMV either. Going right back around 10 years HMV’s famous dog Nipper turned up in his Cargo show in London and when he re-engineered a good proportion of Paris Hilton’s UK albums they were placed into HMV racks across the country in probably the largest instance of organised reverse shoplifting ever. What’s different this time is that there would have been full permission to place a display in the window and the aisle; to be honest  I’d be quite surprised if you didn’t have to pay to get a spot like that. Is that selling out? I’m sure Banksy knows full well that’s an accusation that will be levelled at him and it certainly has been in this instance. These two pieces of art are obviously there to advertise a product, no question about that. Whether this matters anymore is up for debate but its hardly a new debate. Most street art in London now seems to be advertising something – a print or maybe a show.
Poignant, thoughtful and well executed Banksy works like these are something of a luxury to look at nowadays in London with pretty much everything on the street getting attacked within a few days of placement. It might have made more sense and garnered more positive publicity if they had been put in say Rough Trade or on the street but here they are in HMV, on Oxford Street with an attendant security guard. How things have changed.
 Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate

Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate

Banksy in HMV. Photo artofthestate

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