One week after Banksy tried and failed to sell his valuable works of art for $60 a piece to random passers-by in Central Park, three artists decided to set up a similar stand of Banksy canvases, but with one very crucial twist: Their wares were admittedly fake.
The trio, composed of hoax artist Dave Cicirelli, event promoter Lance Pilgrim, and filmmaker George Gross, offered the exact same 40 Banksy pieces for the exact same price at the exact same location.
The fact that they were operating independently of Banksy was not obscured in any way: All customers were verbally warned; they had a clear sign posted on the stand; and every canvas came with a legally notarized "Certificate of Inauthenticity."
"It didn't matter," Cicirelli wrote on his blog. "We sold everything in less than an hour. Including the price sign."
"We wouldn’t have sold any, if not for the media hype around Banksy," acknowledged Cicrelli in an email to AnimalNY. "That was kind of the point—we wanted to complete his statement about the nature of hype and the value of art. Banksy’s stunts have created a haze of uncertainty around everything, and we created ‘Fake Banksy’ within that haze."