It’s Too Ironic That Walmart Is Selling Prints Of Banksy’s Anti-Capitalism Art
Oy vey. Those are the only two words I have for Walmart selling anti-capitalism Banksy prints in its stores. Because this is the kind of shit that’s not really dangerous, per se, but is just totally fucking ridiculous. It’s so American, like McDonald’s hamburgers that won’t get moldy, yet no one seems to give a flying fuck that everyone continues to eat them.
Walmart corporate buyers are some crafty mofos. Because street art is cool, right? And Banksy is cool, right? And since art copyright laws are so totally cool (they are not, by the way) that the famous graffiti artist doesn’t hold any rights to his well-known images, Walmart can do whatever the fuck it wants with them.
What’s particularly amazing about this scenario is that Walmart didn’t choose just any Banksy print — the giant company chose the “Destroy Capitalism” one and is selling it for $60 online. Free shipping, bitches. Of course, like any good economic market, one can also buy the very same print on Amazon for $40 bucks a pop. Decisions, people, decisions.
Walmart has been doing this since 2013, but after news organizations started calling the franchise out for “counterfeit” prints, it stopped selling them from third parties. But it looks like Walmart’s back at it now that the dust has settled.
It’s ironic and funny in an “oh my god art is dead and so is my soul” sort of way. Sure, Banksy is always a little obvious, which is why it’s a good fit for Walmart. Soon, “hip” families can start putting up “edgy” street art in their homes, bought from Walmart, alongside those Pottery Barn wall hangings that say “Eat” and “Love.” It means nothing. Walmart exemplifies everything wrong with capitalism: it gets tax breaks, treats employees like shit, and sells shitty things at low costs. And now it sells anti-capitalism art, too.
In 2013, Walmart was also selling a counterfeit piece by L.A. street artist Eddie Colla, who took action. He told LA Weekly at the time:
“Things are just getting picked up and reproduced and the artists aren’t seeing any money out of that… Walmart has a long history of unfair business practices and employment policies. Last month employees were organizing food drives for other employees for Thanksgiving. If Walmart had contacted me for a licensing deal, there’s not a dollar amount that exists that I would have done it for.”
There’s actually nothing left to be done about a major, pretty evil retailer selling anti-capitalist prints stolen from an artist except laugh. Or cry. Pick your poison.