Banksy pays band with £200,000 painting

Exit Through the Gift Shop is the name of a 2010 'documentary' film by graffiti artist Banksy, in which one Thierry Guetta, becames obsessed with street art (including Banksy) and makes a film about it, then becomes a street artist himself whilst Banksy becomes the film-maker.

But Banksy wasn't the first to use the name - a band had been playing under the name of Exit Through the Gift Shop for years, when suddenly they started to get a series of emails claiming to be from Banksy.

The artist explained that he'd like to make it up to them for taking their name, and offered to create a new gig backdrop for them if they dropped their name altogether. Still unsure whether the emails were genuine or not, the band changed their name to Brace Yourself.

Soon after, a white van turned up, driven by a man who had no idea what he was carrying. The delivery was a black-and-white painting of Death driving a dodgem car, with his scythe as the aerial. 'Brace Yourself' (with an 'anarchy A') has been 'carved' into the bumper.

The band invited a man from Sotheby's over, who valued it at £200,000 for insurance purposes. He commented 'this is surreal. I have just been valuing an 18th-century portrait in a stately home, but it is not as valuable as this'.

The band is displaying it in a gallery with no immediate plans to sell.

Banksy's works have many collectors worldwide, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and the five-figure valuation is not unusual - though Banksy greatly discourages the sale of the street art (such as the 'street cleaner', above) for which he is most famous.


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