A unique mural by the British artist Banksy is to be made available as an NFT edition. The work, commonly known as ‘Gorilla in a Pink Mask’, was executed twenty years ago in Bristol. In this city, Banksy grew up and cut his teeth as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s, and it is widely considered one of his masterworks.
The company behind the initiative, Exposed Walls, which specialises in the preservation and renovation of street art, is also offering holders of the NFT the chance to own another one-off work by Banksy with a potential value of $1m themselves.
This work will be announced when the ‘Gorilla’ edition is sold out and will be randomly awarded to one of the holders of the NFTs. The lucky NFT holder will choose between having the physical artwork or a unique NFT depicting it.
The ‘Gorilla in a Pink Mask’ NFT will be fractionalised into the number of the edition, and owners will receive a certificate of authentication showing the segment of the mural on which the artwork appears. The concept is that you own part of a historical work by the artist instead of other platforms that only allow you to buy ‘shares’ in artworks. The focus is on collecting rather than investing, though, like any other NFT, it is anticipated they will be traded on platforms such as Opensea.
Anyone wishing to acquire the Banksy NFT is requested to register their interest on a website dedicated to the sale. They will be notified of the platform on which it will be sold and the edition number, price, and the day of the sale. The company plans to offer a series of other works by Banksy as NFTs soon.
‘Gorilla in a Pink Mask’ first appeared on the former North Bristol Social Club wall in Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol. This later became the Jalalabad Cultural Centre (Mosque), where it was painted over in 2011. In September 2020, it was removed by Exposed Walls, which now owns the work. Banksy street pieces are separate from the prints & canvas that Pest Control oversees.
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.’