I was about to pack it up and call it a day when I saw that Walmart was selling the work of graffiti artist Banksy on their website starting at the low price of $25 — the most ironic being the work entitled “Destroy Capitalism.” Walmart’s in-house art expert (?) speculated that Banksy would “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.” Eh, maybe not. Nothing about Walmart — particularly its treatment of their employees — is what we’d call “punk rock.”
As you might have guessed, this didn’t go over very well with Banksy’s publicist, who made a statement saying: “The Banksy canvases you showed me are counterfeit reproductions and we are currently dealing with Walmart about them.”
To add insult to injury, California based artist Eddie Colla claimed that one of his images was mislabeled as a Banksy piece and put up for sale on the mega-store’s website. In addition, street artist Thierry Guetta’s (better known Mr. Brainwash) discovered that on of his pieces was also labeled as Banksy print on the store’s website. Ooops. The in-house art expert must have missed that.
Walmart admitted their defeat late last night and took all of the artwork, Banksy and mistaken-for-Banksy down from its site. [LAist]