By now you may have heard that superstar British graffiti artist Banksy set up a stall in Central Park yesterday and sold original, signed work for $60 each. (His work can fetch in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.) It took four hours to make the first sale, and at the end of the day, the nice older gentleman running the stall had made $420.
I had to laugh when I heard about this and immediately watched the video on Banksy’s website about his month-long NY “residency.” I loved it all, the pop-up stall, the people strolling by, oblivious to the stunt, and the naturally effortless way Banksy stirs things up.
And then it hit me: College scholarship! If I had been one of those lucky people who bought a Banksy for $60 (or less…one woman bargained and got two for $60. Shrewd!) I would be on the phone with an auction house, selling the canvas for college money for the girls.
Sigh. How did we get here? I can practically hear my younger, more “pure” artistic self mocking me. Disappointed in me, a little. “But it would be cool to have a Banksy hanging in the living room,” my younger self shrieks. “How did you get so OLD?!!
All I can tell my younger, hipster-loving art connoisseur self is to go to the Vanguard website, type in that your youngest child will be in college in ELEVEN years and then hit “Return.” Watch the numbers dance. And then cry yourself to sleep in a corner.
And that, younger version of me, is why I would sell my pop-up Banksy in a split second. And I have a feeling that Banksy would probably say: you gotta do what you gotta do. But he would say it in a British accent and then go spray paint something. And we definitely wouldn’t see his face. But you get the idea.
Have a great time in New York, Banksy! It’s fun to watch what you’re doing from here.