A mural created by British street artist Banksy is seen on a side of a building in Queens, New York, yesterday. Banksy is a pseudonym for the England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director and painter who tries to keep his identity a secret.
NEW YORK CITY: World-famous British street artist Banksy flogged original canvases for just $60 in Central Park over the weekend as part of a month-long residency in New York.
While his work can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, his website announced that minimal interest and sluggish sales resulted in takings of just $420.
The stall was set up on day 13 of his pop-up exhibition in New York, announced each day on the website www.banksyny.com and posted to his instagram account.
The England-based graffiti maestro, who has never been formally identified, has promised to unveil a new piece of art on each day of the month somewhere in the city.
Banksy said the stall was a one-off that would not open again, likely to disappoint fans crushed at missing the chance to snap up an affordable original.
The white canvases with black spray-painted images were advertised for $60 each with another sign that said: “this is not a photo opportunity.”
A short video showed the vendor — wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap — yawning, then munching on his lunch to pass the time before the first sale at 3:30pm.
A woman who bought two small canvases for her children, but only after negotiating a 50 percent discount.
Half an hour later, a woman from New Zealand bought two.
A man from Chicago then bought four to decorate his new house. By 6pm, total takings for the day were $420, according to the video.
Banksy’s stencilled designs, known for their irreverent humour and political activism, have propelled him from a graffiti rebel to reluctant star.
He has spoken out against the exorbitant sums paid for his art and invites people to download photographs of his work for free from his website.
The free New York show called “Better Out Than In” has whipped up huge excitement in the city as fans rush to track down the different piece of work each day.
His Instagram account has more than 152,000 followers and his @banksyny Twitter account has more than 21,000.
The show has also included mixed traditional stencil designs with installation art.
One of the highlights is a slaughterhouse delivery truck stuffed with soft toy animals, which appeared first in Manhattan’s uber trendy meatpacking district.
Called “The Sirens of the Lambs,” the cuddly toy sheep, chickens and cows are operated by puppeteers and will tour the city for the next two weeks.
A New York delivery truck converted into a mobile garden, featuring a rainbow, waterfall and butterflies, also visits a different place each day at dusk.