Someone was willing to pay $1 million for Banksy’s identity

Senior Editor
01.18.11 32 Comments

An eBay user claiming to know the identity of British “street artist” Banksy had been auctioning off what he claimed to be Banksy’s real name.  The bidding started at $3,000 and eventually climbed to almost a million before eBay pulled it.  The seller later re-listed it, and it looks like it has since been pulled again.  Apparently, Banksy’s identity wasn’t considered “tangible enough” for eBay (unlike, say, my wang, which is considered extremely tangible — it even comes in a box!).

Given the artist’s penchant for pulling fast ones on the public [what is the evidence for this, by the way?  being secretive or provocative is not the same thing as deceit -Ed], the recently deleted EBay auction was widely suspected of being a prank, possibly by Banksy himself. Meanwhile, similar auctions claiming to have the identity of the artist have been popping up on EBay, though it remains unclear if the sellers are connected. [LATimes]

I named Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop my favorite film of 2010, because whether he’d invented Mr. Brain Wash or not (he claims he didn’t), I thought it was a brilliant illustration of how art, entertainment, and marketing work.  Like the movie, many have speculated that Banksy himself was behind the auction, or that it was just a publicity stunt, or that it was a marketing ploy to get people thinking about Exit Through the Gift Shop during awards season.  Either way, no one has any idea, but everyone is free to spout their own bullsh*t theories, which makes it perfect conversation fodder down at the coffee shop.

Meanwhile, I’m planning my own documentary, Exit Through the Gif Shop, starring Christian Bale:

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