Banky’s Central Park art sale presented an unusual opportunity: works of art worth thousands of dollars, on sale to the public for $60 a pop. For those of us who didn’t get in on the action (the sale was unannounced and only eight paintings sold), watching the action play out on YouTube was positively maddening. It was tempting to go out and look for more even though the artist explicitly stated the stunt was a one-off.
That’s where artists Dave Cicirelli and Lance Pilgrim came in. A week after Banksy’s fire sale, Cicirelli and a group of collaborators took to the street, setting up a nearly identical stand in the same location and selling “fake Banksys” –imitation works of art that were explicitly labeled as such–also for $60 each. Forty of the bogus works, which even came with notarized “certificates of inauthenticity,” sold out in an hour.
Watch Cicirelli’s video above.
“We wouldn’t have sold any, if not for the media hype around Banksy,” Cicirelli told ANIMAL. “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.”
Cicirelli is no stranger to stunts like these: in September, he published a book about using Facebook to fictionalize his own life, and he says he’ll invest the money the team netted into upcoming projects.
“Also,” he adds, “I’m buying a Banksy.”