Undercover graffiti artist Banksy has urged fans to go and ‘help themselves’ to clothes from GUESS on Regent Street after the shop used his artwork without permission.
In a post to his 11.5 million Instagram followers, the reclusive artist called on shoplifters to give the clothing brand a taste of their own medicine.
Attention all thieves.
Please go to GUESS on Regent Street. They helped themselves to my artwork without asking, How could it be wrong for you to do the same for their clothes?
Social media users were quick to support the artist.
The anonymous graffiti artist encouraged fans on Instagram to steal clothes from the Regent Street store. Banksy has removed a number of trademarks in recent years after refusing to reveal his identity publicly
“The NERVE says ‘with Banksy graphics’,” said one user.
Others called the brand’s use of the artist’s image “embarrassing” and some users vowed to visit the store.
The GUESS X Brandalised collection was revealed earlier this month and mixes Banksy graphics with “guessing style.”
Brandalised says it licenses the world’s most famous graffiti and works with brands including HUAWEI and Eleven Paris.
This isn’t the first time the graffiti artist, known for his clever satirical designs, has run into copyright issues.
The artist was stripped of his copyright to the Flower Thrower artwork — used by the GUESS store — in 2020, after a two-year legal battle with card company Full Color Black.
Banksy lost his trademarks on Radar Rat and Girl With Umbrella after he refused to reveal his identity. The judges accused him of “bad faith”
The store used the Flower Thrower as part of the GUESS x Brandalised collection. The artist questioned its use and encouraged fans to shoplift clothes
The artist has never revealed his identity, although The Mail on Sunday described him as former public school pupil Robin Gunningham.
Banksy refused to reveal his identity to the judges who refused to uphold his copyright for the image because he “could not be identified as the unquestioned owner of such works because his identity is concealed”.
The unknown street artist was stripped of three more trademarks in 2021, for Radar Rat, Laugh Now, and Girl With Umbrella, bringing the number of lost trademarks to four.
Banksy was told he was “acting in bad faith” by not revealing his identity. He had previously said that “copyright is for losers”.
The Mail on Sunday named Banksy as former public school pupil Robin Gunningham, although his identity was never confirmed.
Was Banksy seen in Ukraine? A video shows a mural “painting” of a mysterious masked figure confirmed to be the artwork of an elusive artist
By Chris Pleasance For Email
Elusive British street artist Banksy may have been ‘caught’ painting a mural on a destroyed building in Ukraine.
CCTV footage making the rounds on Ukrainian TikTok shows a man wearing a mask creep up a wall in the city of Irpin, near Kyiv, before “painting” on it.
While the footage appears to be heavily a parody, it likely still shows Banksy – whose true identity has never been revealed.
Irbin’s artwork, which shows a ballerina in a neck brace, has been confirmed as the real Banksy and is one of seven he painted in Ukraine in recent days.
The idea of spoofing a video of him being “caught” goes with Banksy’s sense of humor.
Staged CCTV footage making the rounds on Ukrainian TikTok shows a man creeping up a wall in the city of Irpin before having Banksy ‘paint’ on it
While the footage is highly staged and the painting clearly doesn’t happen live, it’s still possible that the British street artist may have spoofed it himself – in keeping with his sense of humor.
Irbin’s artwork – which shows a ballerina in a neck brace – has been confirmed to be the real Banksy and is one of seven to be painted in Ukraine in recent days.
Among other works Banksy painted in Ukraine is Man in the Bathtub – which bears a passing resemblance to Charles Darwin – painted inside a ruined flat in the village of Horenka, five miles northeast of Irpin.
Another painting painted on the walls of a ruined school in the town of Borodinka, west of Irpin, shows a child flipping an adult man on his back in a judo match.
The man’s figure appears to be Vladimir Putin – who carries a judo backpack.
More works include a mobile rocket launcher that includes a crude drawing of a rod where the missile should be, children playing on a tank trap as if it were a chainsaw, and a woman wearing hair curlers and a gas mask holding a fire extinguisher.
Banksy confirmed its authenticity in a video posted on his Instagram account titled “In Solidarity with the People of Ukraine”.
The footage shows a woman and her daughter outside the bombed school after painting a judo mural.
It was a bomb here and many people died, she says.
My child used to go to this kindergarten. Don’t cry, my dear, we have already cried a lot, we have no tears left.
Artwork confirmed by Banksy on a Kyiv street shows a Russian missile launcher with a crudely drawn rod in place of the missile.
Another Banksy artwork from Ukraine shows a woman wearing hair curlers and a robe, wearing a gas mask and holding a fire extinguisher near a burning building.
Drawing on the wall of a nursery destroyed by a Russian bomb, Banksy shows a child throwing a Putin-like man in a judo match – a sport in which he wears a black belt.
Banksy began his unorthodox artistic career as a graffiti artist in Bristol in the 1990s, becoming famous for his satirical and political murals on buildings.
His signature style became black and white images drawn using stencils, often showing human or animal figures performing an activity or interacting with the world around them.
Some of his best-known works oppose the conflict, including a picture of a man throwing a bouquet of flowers – painted on the West Bank wall that separates Jerusalem from Israel.
He is also known for playing with the idea of fake versus real.
While living in New York in 2013, he set up what appeared to be a tourist booth in Central Park selling what looked like replicas of his work for $60 a piece.
Except that the booth was real and the artwork was original.
Despite being in place for an entire day, only one customer purchased two copies which later fetched in excess of $100,000 when sold at auction.
Another piece that played with a similar theme and art value was a “Girl With Balloon” print that partially tore itself off while being auctioned off.
The half-ruined artwork is once again back at auction, selling several times its initial guide price.
One of Banksy’s new artworks in Ukraine shows a man with a fleeting resemblance to Charles Darwin taking a bath in a ruined house.
A dancer also appears in this piece by Banksy, painted in the town of Borodinka, which shows the female figure balancing on top of ruins.
Two children appear to be playing in a tank trap as if they are on a seesaw in this Banksy work, which was featured in downtown Kyiv.
Banksy’s Ukrainian artwork has been featured in cities and towns devastated by Russia’s nine-month war in Ukraine.
Irpin, where a ballerina with a neck brace appeared, was the site of some of the worst atrocities committed by Putin’s forces.
Hundreds of civilians were killed during the months-long occupation after Russian forces were stopped there as they tried to advance towards Kyiv.
When Putin’s forces retreated, they left behind evidence of their war crimes, including mass graves, torture chambers, and civilian corpses in the streets.
Ukraine continues to push back Kremlin forces on the battlefield, with recent withdrawals taking place in the south and northeast.
Russian forces fled the area around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in September and recently withdrew from the city of Kherson.
About half of the territory that Moscow’s armies had occupied at the height of the invasion was now recaptured, as Kyiv demanded more weapons to get the job done.
Topping the list are anti-aircraft batteries to protect against increased Russian airstrikes, but Ukraine also wants attack aircraft and tanks to aid in its attacks.