Graffiti artist Banksy has launched his own merchandise line, with items on sale for as little as £10, to protect his brand against a greeting-card company that is trying to "seize legal custody" of his name.
Banksy unveiled a pop-up-shop installation, named Gross Domestic Product, in Croydon, UK, to announce the launch of the merchandise range.
According to claims from the artist, he has been forced to release the branded merchandise following legal action from an unnamed greeting-card company.
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"GDP is the homewares brand from Banksy and this is our first and only store," said Banksy on Instagram. "The showroom is for display purposes only and the doors will not open. All sales will be conducted online when the website opens soon."
"This shop has come about as a result of legal action," the statement continued. "A greetings cards company are trying to seize legal custody of the name Banksy from the artist, who has been advised the best way to prevent this is to sell his own range of branded merchandise."
Legal proceedings against Banksy began a year ago
According to news channel ITV, Banksy made the decision after taking advice from lawyer Mark Stephens, following the greeting-card company starting legal proceedings around a year ago.
"Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn't produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear – if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will," Stephens is reported as saying.
According a to statement made by Banksy, many of the items for sale have been made especially for the online store.
"Sometimes you go to work and it's hard to know what to paint, but for the past few months I've been making stuff for the sole purpose of fulfilling trademark categories under EU law," he said.
This merchandise will be sold online, with items own sale for as little as £10 said the artist.
A website has been created at – grossdomesticproduct.com – where the products will potentially be sold. Currently the site displays a static image saying: "Gross Domestic Product. The homewares store from Banksy. Opening Soon."
"So here it is – we hope to offer something for everyone, prices start from £10 but availability will be limited – all of the products are handmade in the UK using existing or recycled materials wherever possible. Including the ideas," continued the statement.
Installation contains Stormzy stab vest
The installation in Croydon consists of a series of window displays beneath a fitness chain near East Croydon station.
Banksy announced the installation with a picture on Instagram, along with a caption stating that the shop was "for display purposes only".
Banksy is a British street artist whose identity is unknown. He has created numerous satirical and political pieces of work including art-filled Walled Off Hotel on Israeli West Bank barrier and an EU flag being demolished in the town of Dover.
Earlier this year one of his works was sent through a shredder at the moment of its auction sale.
Image courtesy of Getty.