A dystopian homewares store in Croydon, South London, is the latest installation by the graffiti artist – whose identity is still being hidden from us – to critique global society’s major issues of forced human migration, animal exploitation, and the surveillance state.
The shop, called Gross Domestic Product, appeared overnight on Church Street; it has been set up in a former carpet shop and will sell a range of "impractical and offensive" merchandise created by the artist.
The temporary installation, which will be on view for two weeks in the Croydon neighborhood, incorporates multiple window displays for a shop that is not in fact open to passersby. However, some of the items on display are available for purchase at associated online store.
Items being sold in the shop include welcome mats made from life vests salvaged from the shores of the Mediterranean, which have been hand-stitched by women in detainment camps in Greece.
In a statement, hanging from the shop window, Banksy said:
"A greetings cards company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art, and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally. I think they're banking on the idea I won't show up in court to defend myself. We hope to offer something for everyone, prices start from 10£ but availabity will be limited – all these products are hand made in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible. Including the ideas”.
Revenue from sales will also support the purchase of a replacement boat for activist Pia Klemp, whose boat was confiscated by the Italian government.