Graffiti artist Banksy opens pop-up shop in London in trademark dispute

Graffiti artist Banksy opens pop-up shop in London in trademark dispute

The mini art exhibition in Croydon is in response to a greetings card company that launched a legal bid to use his name to sell "fake" merchandise.

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A man takes a photograph of a shopfront displaying a mini exhibition by secretive British artist, Banksy with the sign Gross Domestic Product in Croydon, south London on Oct 1, 2019. (Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen)

Art fans and curious shoppers crowded around a disused shop in south London on Monday (Sep 30) after notorious street artist Banksy set up a mini art exhibition in protest at a greetings card company.

Scores of people vied for a view of some of the guerilla graffiti artist's works, including the stab vest he designed for grime artist Stormzy to wear during his headline performance at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

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A stab vest, worn by Stormzy during his Glastonbury performance is displayed as part of Banksy's mini exhibition. (Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen)

The exhibition popped up overnight on Surrey Street, in Croydon, with the exhibits shown behind large glass windows, under a shop sign reading "Gross Domestic Product".

Banksy said in a statement that his motivation was "possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art".

"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," he wrote.

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People looking at Banksy's pop-up shopfront. (Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen)

Banksy said he had been prompted to open a shop as a way to get around copyright law after the greetings card company launched a legal bid to use his name to sell "fake" merchandise.

"I think they're banking on the idea I won't show up in court to defend myself," he added.

Banksy said that proceeds would go towards buying a new migrant rescue boat to replace one confiscated by Italy.

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Part of Banksy's mini exhibition. (Photo: AFP / Tolga Akmen)

Other works on show include a baby's crib underneath a mobile made of security cameras and a reimagining of breakfast cereal character Tony the Tiger as a rug.

Framed images of his works adorn the shop walls, while a battered armchair decorated with cushions reading "life's too short" sits in front of a fireplace.

(Source: AFP)

Source: AFP/sr

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