Exposed Walls will offer for sale an NFT inspired by Banksy’s “Gorilla in a Pink Mask” mural.
Banksy’s ”Gorilla in a Pink Mask”
The original work was executed exactly 20 years ago in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol, and is believed to be the first time Banksy has depicted a primate in his work. It can be seen as a precursor to 2009’s “Devolved Parliament”, the famous work depicting chimpanzees and orangutans debating in the House of Commons.
Over time, apes have become a recurring theme in the artist’s work, which he uses to draw parallels between humans and their closest relatives in the animal kingdom. In this way he criticizes power, corruption and consumerism. His other famous works in this vein are “Laugh Now” and “Monkey Queen”, both from 2003.
The NFT inspired by Banksy’s mural
Exposed Walls, which specialises in the preservation and refurbishment of street art, has created an NFT inspired by “Gorilla in a Pink Mask”, which will be split up so that different owners can purchase a portion. Each owner of the NFT will also be given an authentication certificate showing the segment of the mural on which the artwork appears.
Owners of this NFT will also be given the opportunity to own another unique Banksy work of art, through a random assignment to one of the owners who can choose whether to receive the physical artwork or the NFT depicting it.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the NFT will be donated to The Gorilla Organization and Developing Health and Independence (DHI), a charity that supports disadvantaged people and those living on the margins of society in turning their lives around.
However, some have raised doubts about the legitimacy of this operation, given that it is Banksy‘s work and it is safe to assume that the artist should have issued the NFT, or commissioned someone to do so. Instead, it appears that the initiative is by Exposed Walls alone, and does not directly involve the author.
However, “Gorilla in a Pink Mask” was removed from its original location in September 2020 by Exposed Walls, which now owns the work. The mural was painted in 2001 on the wall of the former North Bristol Social Club in Fishponds Road, Eastville in Bristol, but the building later became the Jalalabad Cultural Centre (Mosque), and the mural was removed.
A spokesman for the company said:
“Exposed Walls tends to focus on works that are on the verge of being lost to history, as was the case with Gorilla in a Pink Mask. Our intention is for this piece to one day be housed in a museum”.