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‘Guerilla artist’ Banksy sells original canvases for $60 in New York City

Published October 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Sometimes, the best marketing business ideas are born when people look outside the industry. And, where better to turn your gaze than on Banksy? The anonymous British graffiti artist’s subversive and irreverent pieces seem to be part visual masterpiece and part ingenious guerilla marketing campaign, leading many people to refer to him as a “guerilla artist.”

Banksy has traveled the world, leaving his mark on buildings and structures everywhere and using his artwork as a vehicle to communicate darkly comedic political and social commentary. Most recently, he made headlines for selling 100 percent authentic original signed canvases for just $60 in New York’s Central Park, an event that he filmed and documented on his website.

In the video, you can see that an unknown elderly man has set up about two dozen canvases along the street at around 11:15 a.m. Can you guess how long it took him to sell one of Banksy’s pieces, which, according to Mashable, have been valued at more than $1 million?

Four hours and 15 minutes! No, that’s not a typo. He didn’t make his first sale until 3:30 p.m., at which point a woman purchased two small canvases after negotiating a 50 percent discount. Later in the day, a woman from New Zealand would go on to buy two pieces and a man from Chicago would purchase four, nonchalantly stating that he needed something to decorate the walls of his new house. At 6 p.m., the elderly man closed up shop.

The total earnings at the end of the day? $420. The number of views that the video documenting the experience has garnered since it was published on October 13? More than three million.

Imagine how many New Yorkers are now kicking themselves for passing up the opportunity to buy an original Banksy canvas for the price of a department store sweater. As always, Banksy has proven that a little ingenuity can go a long way. Marketers, take note

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