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Walmart's Selling A Bunch Of 'Banksy' Ripoffs
Mega-corporate Walmart has been selling prints of the celebrated graffiti artist's work for an everyday low price of $25 to a whopping $869 on its website, and mislabeling other artists' work as Banksy's in the process.
Our in-house street art expert Jake Dobkin says, "I think he'd probably appreciate the irony of a monstrous corporation appropriating his anti-consumerist art and selling it at a markup without giving him any money- that's pretty punk rock."
But Jo Brooks, Banksy's publicist told LAist, "The Banksy canvases you showed me are counterfeit reproductions and we are currently dealing with Walmart about them."
One California-based graffiti artist, Eddie Colla, claims one of his images has been mistaken as a Banksy piece of art on the Walmart website, according to LA Taco. In an ironic twist, the artwork has the words, "If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission," stenciled on it.
"That’s the irony, isn’t it?" Colla said in an interview with 1XRUN. "I made a piece about individuals controlling their own fate and not making their success contingent on the approval of others. It then gets adopted by a neo-feudal corporation like Walmart."
In retaliation, Colla has created a new print for sale (that's already sold out) on the 1XRUN website mocking Walmart by labeling it as "It's Only Stealing If You Get Caught."
In addition, Walmart also mislabeled street artist Thierry Guetta's (a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash) "Life Is Beautiful" piece from his 2008 art show as a Banksy print.
UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Here's a full statement from a spokesperson at Walmart:
These items are sold through our Marketplace third-party sellers Wayfair and PlumStruck. We’ve taken action to disable the one item in question by Callo, and it will be unpublished later tonight around midnight PT.
We will also instruct Wayfair and Plumstruck to review their artwork to ensure the descriptions are accurate. They’ve provided great products and experiences to our customers and are contracted to comply with product copyright, safety, testing and certification requirements. We’ll work closely with them on the review.
@rchlwll @busblog we immediatley removed the items from our site as soon as we became aware of the issue.— Wayfair.com (@Wayfair) December 3, 2013
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