Bansky Art
A Bonhams employee poses for a photograph with Banksy's "Love is in the Air" (L), "Leopard and Barcode" and "Bomb Hugger" (R) at Bonhams auction house in London March 23, 2012. The works, which are estimated at 60,000 pounds ($95,000), 80,000 pounds ($130,000) and 60,000 pounds ($ 95,000) respectively will be auctioned as part of the Urban Art sale at Bonhams auction house on March 29, 2012. Reuters/Luke MacGregor

World famous street artists Banksy pulled one of his biggest tricks yet on Saturday when he sold original artworks for as little as $60 at a street stall near Central Park in Manhattan. The renegade street artist, whose works regularly sell for thousands or even millions of dollars, set up a small stand and had an old man in a baseball cap act as a vendor. Tourists and Manhattanites alike walked idly by, unaware of the enormous bargain they were ignoring. A hidden camera captured the whole event, which Banksy later posted on his website. It took several hours for even the first sale to be made, and by the end of the day the infamous artist had made only $420, The Daily Beast reports.

Banksy is well known for mocking the art world and playing with public perception. He has been in New York for two weeks doing a residency, unveiling a new work every day around the city. His work has included murals, videos and a roaming truck with screaming stuffed animals driving through the Meat Packing District. But this prank may be his most poignant. By self-determining the value of his work , Banksy parodies the value system of art which depends entirely in the context in which it is bought and sold. He mocks the very nature of New York City which prides itself on championing art by creating a situation in which even the most priceless works of art are ignored.

By utilizing the street as both canvas and gallery, Bansky regularly questions the place of art institutions and the elitist nature of the art world. In Banksy's conception, art is a fully democratic process, available to all no matter their economic status. Once again he has questioned this system by not only allowing his work to be enjoyed by the wider public, but, in this case, even bought for a minimal price. According to the video, the first buyer even negotiated a 50% discount for the two works she bought. A man from Chicago bought four works to decorate his new home. The vendor gave each buyer a hug and a kiss after their purchase. It is a remarkable statement: last June a print of LOVE IS IN THE AIR - the image of a man throwing a grenade made of flowers - sold for $249,000. It was available for purchase here for only $60.

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