Art Pranks

Blog Posts

Fake Banksy Art Sells to Fake Art Collectors

Filed under: Art Pranks, Parody

From Marcy LaViollette:

Artist Holds Fake Banksy sale, Sells Out in an Hour
by Andy Cush
October 21, 2013

Banky’s Central Park art sale presented an unusual opportunity: works of art worth thousands of dollars, on sale to the public for $60 a pop. For those of us who didn’t get in on the action (the sale was unannounced and only eight paintings sold), watching the action play out on YouTube was positively maddening. It was tempting to go out and look for more even though the artist explicitly stated the stunt was a one-off.

That’s where artists Dave Cicirelli and Lance Pilgrim came in. A week after Banksy’s fire sale, Cicirelli and a group of collaborators took to the street, setting up a nearly identical stand in the same location and selling “fake Banksys” –imitation works of art that were explicitly labeled as such–also for $60 each. Forty of the bogus works, which even came with notarized “certificates of inauthenticity,” sold out in an hour.

“We wouldn’t have sold any, if not for the media hype around Banksy,” Cicirelli told ANIMAL. “That was kind of the point—we wanted to complete his statement about the nature of hype and the value of art. Banksy’s stunts have created a haze of uncertainty around everything, and we created ‘Fake Banksy’ within that haze.”

Cicirelli is no stranger to stunts like these: in September, he published a book about using Facebook to fictionalize his own life, and he says he’ll invest the money the team netted into upcoming projects.

“Also,” he adds, “I’m buying a Banksy.”

Related Link:

  • Cicirelli Fake “Walk-about” Plays Out On Facebook
  • Banksy Keeps on Trucking

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    Some recent highlights from

    October 22, Queens:

    No turn unstoned. A 1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks. You’re advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water.


    October 20, Upper West Side:



    Kraken Rum Edible Autopsy

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Parody

    Eating a marzipan kraken corpse, riddled with delicious candy maggots
    by Cory Doctorow
    October 18, 2013


    Miss Cakehead sez, “The Kraken Rum Edible Autopsy saw guests feast on the (rum cake) corpse of a recently captured Kraken in the shadow of the now derelict Redsand Forts found nine miles off the UK coast. The remains of the creature will be displayed at Feed The Beast – an extreme pop up cake shop opening in London next week – with guests having the chance to feast on the (marzipan) maggot riddled flesh themselves.”


    Read more here and here.

    Calling Out Banksy

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Parody, Satire

    New Yorkers Are Calling Out Banksy
    by Nina Strochlic
    The Daily Beast
    October 18, 2013

    Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD, an anonymous New York artist’s collective, and a community of graffiti writers make strange bedfellows. But the disparate groups have one thing in common: they’re calling out beloved street artist Banksy as he prowls New York City on a 30-day tagging quest.


    Steve (not his real name) is the founder of TrustoCorp, an anonymous New York-based guerilla art group known for its subversive signs and other pieces meant to highlight “the hilarity and hypocrisy of human behavior.”

    And that’s just what he set out to do on Monday, when he installed two street signs in New York City pointing out the irony of Banksy as a world-famous multimillionaire maintaining the persona of a rebellious street artist. Each sign cited a parody sponsor by “CitiBanksy” and “Banksy of America,” and featured twists on the elusive tagger’s own work. (more…)

    Banksy Carries On

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    From Deborah, Michael, & Toni:

    Banksy’s month long New York show “Better Out Than In” continues. Here’s work found in the streets from October 11-14, 2013.

    October 14, 2013, Queens


    Says Banksy:

    Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from ‘Gladiator’) but you know what? “I’m just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker” as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.

    October 13, 2013, Banksy originals sold for $60 each in Central Park


    Want to know who bought them and how much they were worth? Read about it here.

    October 12, 2013, Concrete Confessional (more…)

    Banksy’s in NYC: Better Out Than In

    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Satire

    From Marcy LaViollette: Banksy has taken up residency on the streets of NYC for the month of October, 2013

    From Banksy’s Better Out Than In Website:

    October 6 – No posts today due to shocking footage found on YouTube:

    October 5

    A New York delivery truck converted into a mobile garden (includes rainbow, waterfall and butterflies) will visit a different location every evening from dusk.


    Images found around town (some have already been tagged over) from October 2nd & 3rd: (more…)

    Giant Crisco Can Helps Ease the Pain in Detroit

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Satire

    Submitted by Danny Rollingstone on the AOTP Facebook page:

    Update: City Trashes Crisco Can Artist Installed At Fist To ‘Ease Bankruptcy Pain’
    by Bill McGraw
    July 29, 2013

    Update, Monday, Aug. 4: BuzzFeed names the Crisco can among the best street art for 2013.


    In what he said was a gesture of sympathy to a bankrupt city, a Detroit artist jumped out of his pickup truck early Tuesday at Woodward and Jefferson and deposited an oversized replica of a Crisco can at the base of the Joe Louis fist.

    That is art in an Andy Warhol sort of way, even though most of the commuters roaring past at 7:15 a.m. did not appear to be aware that they had witnessed a real live installation, even if it was off-the-wall to the point of obscurity. And it’s also uncertain if other passersby will get the humor and irony behind the can, whose top bore a striking resemblance to the wavy, white, greasy substance in a real Crisco container.

    Update, 1:47 p.m.: City officials say they plan to remove the Crisco can because they see it as “abandoned property.” It was gone by 2 p.m. (more…)

    Onze helden zijn terug! Our heroes are back! [English & Dutch]

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Publicity Stunts

    From Erin:

    This flashmob recreates Rembrandt’s Night Watch, one of the most famous paintings in the world.

    The slogan ‘Our Heroes are Back’ is used to announce that, after an absence of one decade, all major pieces in the Rijksmuseum’s collection are back where they belong. This is what happens when they suddenly emerge in an unsuspecting shopping mall somewhere in The Netherlands.

    13 april gaat het Rijksmuseum open en komen Het melkmeisje, Jan Steen, De Nachtwacht en alle andere helden weer terug. Dit is wat er gebeurt als ze plotseling opduiken in een nietsvermoedend winkelcentrum. Ga naar

    Joey Skaggs at Advertising Week EU 2013

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, What Makes a Good Prank?

    More coverage:


  • Mark Borkowski on Joey Skaggs – ‘the world’s biggest prankster’, The Drum
  • Joey Skaggs: novelty silliness and well-packaged rebellion, New Statesman
  • Joey Skaggs on “Loose Ends”, BBC Radio4 – Only two days left to listen
  • Norm Magnusson’s NY State Thruway Project on Kickstarter

    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism

    From artist Norm Magnusson: I’m raising funds on Kickstarter for a project to install one of my ‘historical’ markers in each of the 27 travel plazas of the New York State Thruway. I’d love you to join me in this project. The Kickstarter campaign runs through March 20, 2013.

    MagnussonImage-200These are sculptures of cast aluminum and acrylic paint. They look just like the historical markers found on country roads, in front of stone houses, or near scenic overlooks all over America, but instead of commemorating the site of a battle or a place where a famous person slept, these markers deal with contemporary social issues such as gender wage disparity, global warming, illegal immigration, taxes, health care and many, many others.

    The markers are expensive to make. The cost of materials keeps going up. Fabrication, installation, transportation, assistants, insurance, van rental, rewards and fulfillment… it all adds up and all of a sudden, it’s a pricey project. 7 people at $10,000 each or 7000 people at $10 each or some combination thereof will get me going. But I don’t just need money, I’m also going to need help installing these things, so if you’re interested in digging holes and planting poles, please let me know.

    See more from Norm Magnusson here and here.

    Fresh Juice Party Announces FUBAR for Valentine’s Day

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    From Fresh Juice Party:

    California Group Mails Chocolate Corpses for Valentines


    Instead of sending a chocolate heart this Valentine’s, send the entire mutilated body! The limited edition FUBAR comes in both white and milk chocolate and is decorated to depict an American soldier’s corpse returning from war. FUBARs are packaged in refrigerated, flag-wrapped coffins, equipped with hidden sound devices which play the FUBAR Memorial Theme Music when opened. The group has posted this music video that demonstrates these features for those who will not be receiving one of their own.

    Who will the lucky recipients be? (more…)

    Art Appears… and Disappears… in LA

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

    Submitted by Lenora:

    Updated: Mysterious street artist hoaxes Downtown L.A., signs removed
    By Deborah Vankin
    September 19, 2012

    A mystery street artist with a sense of humor has turned parts of downtown L.A. into a guerrilla art installation.

    A fake city plaque, on the corner of Spring and 2nd streets, attributes a block of palm trees to artist Chris Burden. (Steve Devol/Los Angeles Times / September 18, 2012)

    Eight neighborhood landmarks or areas have been marked with official-looking city placards that offer what appear to be background information about the location. One, for instance, says that a downtown dumpster was designed by Andy Warhol.

    Though the artworks are unsigned, Culture Monster has learned that they are called “Art Appears” and are the work of the artist who calls himself Wild Life.

    [Update, 12:08 p.m. Wednesday: At least two of the signs have been removed since Tuesday, one near City Hall and one near the LAPD headquarters.]

    The artist Wild Life was half the duo (with Calder Greenwood) responsible for life-sized papier-mâché installations that sprouted up around town a few months ago, notably as the lounging sunbathers in an open construction pit on 1st Street and Broadway. (more…)

    Cacophony Society Zone Show Opens in LA

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Pranksters

    ‘The Cacophony Society’ is more than just a clown show
    by Richard Chang
    The Orange County Register
    February 10, 2012

    Grand Central Art Center is exploring one of America’s most playful fringe organizations in ‘The Cacophony Society – Zone Show.’

    Multi-colored fliers line the walls outside Grand Central Art Center’s Main Gallery. A blue banner hangs from the ceiling and reads, “Welcome Homeland Security.”

    A red, black and white sign just inside the Main Gallery mysteriously states: “You may already be a member.” Further inside, chaos and mayhem ensue.

    ‘The Cacophony Society – Zone Show’
    Grand Central Art Center
    125 N. Broadway
    Santa Ana, California
    Through April 15, 2012
    11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays
    11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

    “The Cacophony Society – Zone Show” is the newest exhibition at Santa Ana’s Grand Central Art Center. It opened Feb. 4 with a massive reception attended by thousands crowding the Artists Village, and continues through April 15. (more…)

    Critic Jerry Saltz Offers Sex for a Fake Painting

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks

    New York Art Critic Offers Money, Sex for Fake Painting
    by Lisa Derrick
    Huffington Post
    November 29, 1011

    New York Magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz loves Gerhard Richter’s paintings. A lot. So much so that on his Facebook page, the three-time Pulitzer nominee offered either $1,000 or a sex act (plus the cost of materials) to any artist who

    can make me a Richter that looks EXACTLY like an abstract Richter – more or less indistinguishable from the real thing. (You can sign your own name on the back of the damn thing; I just love these and want one.)…Offer: $1000.00 plus materials. I’d like a biggish one.

    After several hundred comments and offers responding to his Facebook posting, Saltz further clarified his immodest proposal:

    1. We agree that you will make me a Richter. 2. We agree on size and cost. 3. You make it. 4. A curator from a MAJOR NY Museum inspects it. 5. IF he/she cannot distinguish it (more or less) from real thing, then I
    A. I pay you the amount of money we agreed on previously.
    B. You get a bj or female equivalent.

    Saltz, a judge on the Bravo television program Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, is married to New York Times senior art critic Roberta Smith, and has a reputation for being — as behooves a critic — outspoken, irreverent and pranksterish. He relishes discourse and uses his Facebook page as a forum for discussion, bantering and repartee. (more…)

    UCSD Senior Prank: Non-Existent Artist Hangs House on Building

    posted by
    Filed under: Art Pranks, College Pranks

    EXCLUSIVE: UCSD: Best Prank Ever
    by Walter Mencken
    San Diego Reader
    November 17, 2011

    Senior Class Fabricates Existence of Korean “Artist,” Cons Stuart Collection into Hanging House Off Edge of Seven-Story Building.

    Stuart Collection Curator Attempts to Save Face: “Actually, joke’s on them: this prank is so genius that it ascends to the level of art. We’re proud to feature it in our collection.”

    High-Fiving All ‘Round, UCSD – “It’s over,” says UCSD Senior Amanda Terwilliger. “Everybody can just stop planning their pranks now, because nobody is ever going to top this. Not, the noose, not the shoe, not the paisley, not even the April Fools’ acceptance email.”

    Terwilliger was referring to the installation of “Fallen Star,” the latest addition to the University’s prestigious and silly Stuart Collection of Artistic Oddities. (more…)