If a famous artist, whose work is worth millions, showed up on a streetcorner unannounced, selling his work for $60 bucks couldn’t make more than a few sales what does that say about the commerce of art? What does that say about Banksy’s work? Does it mean it wasn’t good enough to sell or does it mean people would buy it if they thought it was authentic (valuable)? Banksy selling art like that, under a cloak of relative anonymity was in itself a work of art. He’s making fun of everyone who ever wanted to buy his pieces because they were worth a lot of money. And he’s taunting people who would like to own something of value, more importantly, to get that value for such a lost cost of $60. Sorry, palies, not this time. We all got to read about it the day after the sale ended. He certainly made his point. There is probably no chance that it could ever happen the same way again. Now that we’re onto the game you can bet those works would be snatched up within seconds now.
But it was not an act of kindness. It was a hostile act, meant to expose the worst traits in people. Or maybe it’s simply ironic. Why does it feel like such a slap in the face, though? Is it shame on us? Sure, someone could flip it and say no one cares about Banksy’s work, really, they only care about how much his work is worth. If they cared about the work wouldn’t they have bought those paintings even if they thought they were knock-offs? Wouldn’t you hang one in plain view to look at every day? Of course you wouldn’t. You want the original. Because it’s worth money.