A pop-up art installation curated and designed by legendary anonymous street artist Banksy caused a stir when it appeared overnight in Croydon.
Fans from across the globe flocked to the town centre to see Gross Domestic Product – one of the artist’s largest UK works to date – displayed in shop windows on the junction of Frith Road and Church Road.
It featured several Banksy works, including a stab vest he designed for Croydon rapper Stormzy’s headline set at Glastonbury; a rug of Frosties’ Tony the Tiger; disco balls made from police riot helmets and a toddler’s counting toy where children can load wooden migrant figures inside a haulage truck.
Other items included welcome mats made from life vests salvaged from the shores of the Mediterranean, hand-stitched by women in detainment camps in Greece.
Banksy said he was launching Gross Domestic Product as a shop because a greeting cards company was attempting to legally trade using his name, although products would only be available online.
The artist is being advised that opening a shop which sold his merchandise would help him protect the trademark on his art.
Croydon already has one of the largest street art collections in Europe – The Croydon Collection – which can be viewed at locations across the town centre.
“This is fantastic for Croydon. The great thing about street art is that it’s for everyone and Croydon has one of the largest collections in Europe.
“There’s so much happening with Croydon’s cultural scene at the moment – we’ve just reopened Fairfield Halls, we’re developing as a music city and a creative enterprise zone – and it’s great that Banksy wants to be here too.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport