The Sincura Group, yes that company led by the hilarious Tony Baxter and hosts of the Stealing Banksy? auction from back in April, announced that the point of the auction of former Banksy artworks (street pieces removed from their original locations) was not to sell the artworks, but really to start a street art museum in London. Here’s an archived copy of their post-auction statement. Apparently, people are taking them seriously, with a stories about the museum in The Art Newspaper and The Independent, plus Global Street Art’s Lee Bofkin being considered as a possible curator for the museum.
According to The Art Newspaper, The Sincura Group now says that they never meant to sell any of the Stealing Banksy? works at auction for charity, as they had initially claimed, and that the whole auction and media circus was really just to test the waters for a museum of street art, to open in London next year. The Sincura Group’s statement says that some of the works were for sale, but it is unclear which ones. This seems to contradict what Baxter said in an interview with Vandalog where he was quite clear that a portion of the sale of every piece advertised as for sale at Stealing Banksy? would benefit charity.
So, nothing was for sale, or at least some pieces advertised as for sale really weren’t. The Sincura Group spent months promoting an event that they said would benefit many charities, but it was a lie. And now they are promoting a new project based of that that first project, and we are supposed to believe them. Fool me once…
I think this latest twist adds a new layer of crazy to an already ridiculous situation. At best, it is, as a Time Out blogger wrote, “all an unfathomable mind game.” At worst, it is falsehoods and a lack of transparency piled on top of more falsehoods and a lack of transparency. Essentially, The Sincura Group said that they would raise a bunch of money for charity by selling Banksy artwork and then practically did a 180 to say, “Gotchya! It was all just a social experiment!” Maybe they got the idea from BNE. Why would anyone continue to take The Sincura Group seriously or associate themselves with people who do things like this? Does anyone actually think that all of this is a good, or ethical, idea?
Sorry for this somewhat long, probably confusing post, but this has proven to be a long, confusing series of events. Now, the question I have is this: Was a museum really in the cards all along, or was the auction a complete failure, forcing The Sincura Group to come up with a plan b for all of these street pieces? I don’t no whether to laugh or cry at the entire situation.
Photo by eddiedangerous