On Tuesday 1st October 2019 Croydon woke up to find Banksy had installed his Gross Domestic Product store in the town overnight. With a smart new sign outside and windows full of desirable items the only thing missing was any kind of door. Stationed outside were members of staff dressed in long brown store coats whilst gentle ‘shopping’ music was pumped out onto the street from speakers overhead. News quickly spread and by lunch time bemused locals were rapidly being joined by news crews and an ever growing line of onlookers – so much so a queueing system was rapidly introduced.
Banksy explained the reasons behind the store in a short statement:
Gross Domestic Product TM – Where art irritates life
Welcome to the next level in artist designed homewares – downwards.
GDP is the homewares brand from Banksy and this is our first and only store. The showroom is for display purposes only and the doors will not open. All sales will be conducted online when the website opens soon.
This shop has come about as a result of legal action. A greeting cards company are trying to seize 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.
So here it is – we hope to offer something for everyone, prices start from £10 but availability will be limited – all of these products are hand made in the UK using existing or recycled materials whereever possible. Including the ideas.
Thank you for your custom.
Gross Domestic Product – solutions for wealth.
Warning: Spoiler alert! Don’t look at the following images from inside the store if you’re planning to go. 🙂
When the store is busy the queue starts from the right hand side and the first thing you see is this rather odd set up of a cash register waterfall. Water flows out of the drawer through overgrown with plants below. Meanwhile two butterflies dance around above the scene.
Baby Mobile: Banksy has created the ultimate ceiling mounted stimulus toy to prepare your little one for the journey ahead – a lifetime of constant scrutiny both state sanctioned and self imposed. Doesn’t rotate very well, some self assembly required. Made from toys and metal, resin and wire, Signed. Edition of 3.
Clock: “Upcycled from an office supplies store, this timepiece features a trademark Banksy rat and is suitable for home, office or Home Office.
The precision mechanism requires 1 x AA battery to accurately mark our relentless and steady ticking towards the great unknown.
Screen printed in black and individually hand smudged. Signed on the reverse. Edition of 150″.
Rug: “A bit of old carpet painted to resemble the diabetes riddled corpse of Tony the tiger, this floor covering makes quite the conversation piece – especially if the conversation centres around the UK spending over £7.8 million a year on tooth extraction for the under 5’s. Carpet with resin head. Suitable for vegetarians. Signed. From an edition”.
Next door is a room full of things that are not as they seem from a balaclava lamp to a trio of drones bombing the painting scene below
Many of the items are for sale but no prices are on display. Descriptions are handily provided.
Thrower: “This is Banksy’s first experiment with a new technique for making prints – spray the stencil onto processing film and expose the result directly onto a silk screen. This avoids having to use photography or computer manipulation and creates a very accurate analogue representation of mark making. Looks pretty dope in other words. Comes as a set of three signed and numbered Grey Edition & B/W hand finished edition. From an Edition”.
Goldfish: “Are you the kind of person who likes their pets to come inert and table mounted? Then this is the product for you. The futile pursuit of the unattainable cast in high quality resin. Requires no pump ir filters, but includes decorative pot of fish food. Signed, Edition of 15”
Cushions: “Are you fed up with soft furnishings trying to express feelings on your behalf? Then let these stencilled cushions make that clear. They come as a pair but might not match as they’re painted on finds from the charity shop. Edition of 50”
Duck and cover: An updated version of the classic 70’s design classic of three flying ducks – this relief wall decoration depicts a fleet of unmanned predator drones descending in formation. Hand painted resin and signed. Comes as a set of three. Edition of 50.
Early Learning Counting Set: “Engage all your child’s learning muscles with this fun counting game. See how many figures they can fit in the truck wile it makes a quick stop. Wipe Clean finish, contains small parts unsuitable for under 12’s. Signed. From an edition”.
Axe: “Made in collaboration with Spanish artist Escif this hand made tool with a happy ending makes a fine decorative companion to fireside or radiator. Made from polymer resin so not much good for actually chopping wood. Signed, from an edition”.
Soft Toys: This delightful wall mounted collection of critters us perfect for the Blue Planet generation. Made from charity shop kids toys and genuine random beach detritus, so may contain germs/infectious substances. Made as the toys become available. Sold as a set of three. Signed. Edition of 15.
Vest: “A version of the ‘John Bull’ English gents waistcoat updated for modern times. This customised body armour is capable of stopping bullets up to .45 calibre and is fully stab proof. As worn by Stormy at Glastonbury festival (Because it’s very dangerous there). Yet not machine washable. Signed. Edition of 5 plus 2 A/P”
Met Ball: “This home entertainment lighting system us made from an old Police riot helmet and approximately 650 little mirrors. Comes with heavy duty chain and motor, smoke grenade not included. Signed on the inside. Edition of 50”.
Tombstone: What do you buy for the person who has everything? A 230kg reminder that you can’t take it with you. Hand carved by Banksy in a slab of Portland stone. Collection only – from the quarry. Signed. From an edition.
Crucifix: “A high tensile tactical support grappling hook made from an old wooden cross. Comes with 20ft of knotted rope. Not suitable for loads over 50kg. Signed, edition of 25”
Clutch Bag: “This fashion-forward accessory is made from a genuine real life house brick and is perfect for the kind of person who doesn’t carry much but might need to whack someone in the face. Probably no less practical than the output of most haute couture fashion houses. Signed. Edition of 5”.
Ultra HD TV: Perfect for the snowflake generation, a 55 inch colour TV with a big banksy painted on it. Whilst totally fine from an art point of view, this does impair viewing quality.
Made to order when the used TV’s become available. Signed. Edition of 3
Welcome Mat: “This hard wearing floor covering is hand stitched from life vests abandoned on the beaches Less by migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Customers are advised that they no longer constitute a valid buoyancy aid – although shockingly they never did – many are cheap fakes sold by people smugglers and don’t actually float.
To fabricate the mats Banksy has teamed up with the organisation ‘Love Welcomes’ who work with women in detainment camps in Greece. All proceeds are retained locally to help refugees access key services. From an edition”‘
‘Banksy’ paint. The artist is marketing this as a brand new product. It certainly isn’t an old can of paint with it’s label ripped off that he’s written his name on. Some contents may be missing. Unlimited edition.
Crockery: Have you ever looked at Banksy’s art and thought – my kid could do that? Well so has Banksy and now they have. Required by a court to release a range of mugs and chinaware Banksy got the kids to do it, then signed the result. The set comes fully glazed and features a charming spelling error. From an edition.
Screwed up Morrissey poster: Celebrate the singers drift to the far right with this special collectors item – a vintage Morrissey poster screwed up into an angry ball. Unlimited edition.
Banksquiat: A print made in homage to New York post-graffiti pioneer Jean Michel Basquiat. Banksy is apparently questioning the relentless commodification of Basquait in recent times – by adding to the relentless commodification of Basquiat in recent times. Signed. Edition of 250 on grey board, 250 on black board.
Balloon Tee: This image has been the jewel in the crown of every Banksy bootlegger for the past 15 years. Now the first official version comes with an actual jewel on it. Screenprint on guilt free fair trade tee with pendant. Unlimited edition.
Shredded Tee: The same played out old image, this time attacked with a knife by the artist. on-trend consumers might be aware that Vogue magazine calls ‘fringing’ a ‘hot trend’ this season. Shame we don’t ship until Christmas.
Ultimately this last window is the one that really makes you think. It features a pile of life jackets and very little else. Te kind of jackets worn by migrants on perilous boat trips. The kind of life jackets that may or may not work….
Things you might just miss….
(The balaclava lampshade is also on view at the back of the room)
Information for visitors: Gross Domestic Product opened on Tuesday 1st October and the advice at the time of opening said “the showroom will be here for a few weeks only”. It is located on the corner of Frith Road and Church Street in Croydon, UK. As there are no shutters on the windows it can be viewed at any time of the day – in fact night time viewing is a bit easier as there are less reflections from the windows and smaller queues.
Read more and maybe buy something online from grossdomesticproduct.com