‘Fantastic for Croydon’ – Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product pop-up opens in disused shop

By Alice Fuller
October 8 2019, 12.15

Elusive artist Banksy revealed his latest work of art in a disused homeware shop in Croydon last week.

The surprise installation, titled Gross Domestic Product, features the stab vest worn by Croydon rapper Stormzy during his headline Glastonbury performance.

The window display also showcases a cot surrounded by CCTV cameras and cushions that read ‘life’s too short to take advice from a cushion.’

One section includes a gravestone carved with ‘you have now reached your destination.’

Banksy said on Instagram: “I’m opening a shop today (although the doors don’t actually open).”

Visitors can see the exhibition in the vacant shop on Church Street for two weeks.

POP-UP: Visitors cannot actually enter Banksy’s new installation

Croydon Councillor Oliver Lewis said: “This is fantastic for Croydon. The great thing about street art is that it’s for everyone and Croydon has one of the largest collections in Europe.”

Among the crowds gathered outside the shop at the weekend was Lauren Green from South Croydon.

She said: “I just love the fact that it’s in Croydon. I’ve got a real soft spot for the area so the fact that it popped up here is so cool.”

Jason Cheung said: “It’s like walking through a gallery which is quite rare for Banksy. I like it.”

The shop, which sprang up overnight last Tuesday, caused a stir online. 

Twitter user and Croydon artist Angela Crow said: “It’s wonderful, thought provoking and emotionally stimulating. Thanks @banksy.”

Adam Bysouth on Twitter said: “The artist of my generation. What a genius.”

But the artwork came with some criticism. One user, Eyerex, said they had seen better art on the local underpass.

After two weeks the artist’s merchandise, which he describes as impractical and offensive, will then be available to buy online.

Items for sale include a wooden toy where children load migrant figures into a lorry, as well as disco balls made from police riot helmets. 

TRADEMARK: Visitors have been visiting the installation to get a glimpse of Banksy’s work

The proceeds will help fund a new migrant rescue boat to replace the Open Arms vessel confiscated by Italian authorities.

Banksy said that buyers may well be committing a criminal offence by purchasing from his range.

The mock-shop was set up to assist Banksy in his trademark battle.  

A statement posted at the showroom says a greeting cards company is trying to take legal custody of the Banksy name.

According to the statement, Banksy was advised that selling his own range of branded merchandise would make it easier to protect his copyright.

The Croydon pop-up came in the same week that Banksy’s painting Devolved Parliament was auctioned at Sotheby’s for a record-breaking £9.9m.

Related Articles