(CBS) — Mischievous, thought-provoking street artist Banksy apparently gave people the opportunity to buy some of his paintings at rock-bottom prices. The problem is, nobody knew it.
That’s the premise of a video posted on YouTube this week.
An elderly gentlemen sits at a pop-up art stand on a New York street, in the mini-documentary, which includes captions. Only three people buy pieces of the “spray art” canvases, which appear to be miniature versions of Banksy’s famous graffiti art.
The price: a mind-bogglingly low $60 per canvas (works by the anonymous street artist go for considerably more).
Among the buyers during the one-day sale, according to the video, is a Chicago man who just needed some decorations for his new place. The cashier gives him a hug as the buyer unknowingly prepares to leave with his impressive haul of four pieces.
The identity of the Chicagoan was not immediately known. As the story spread Monday, media outlets began trying to flush him out.
The day’s take for Banksy: a whopping $420, according to the YouTube video.
Jamieson Flynn of the Atlas Galleries in Chicago has an idea of what Banksy may be saying by essentially hiding his valuable artwork in plain sight.
“It’s not up to the space to dictate what’s good and bad. It’s up to the art itself,” Flynn tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
Banksy, who is British, keeps his identity a secret. He was the main subject of the 2010 documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” about daring street artists who thumb their nose at the establishment while enjoying commercial success.
During his “residency” in New York this month, Banksy has already sent out a slaughterhouse truck stuffed with squealing toy animals and unveiled spray art on two seemingly abandoned vehicles downtown.