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Street Art Scams

The Banksy Pet Shop

— October 9, 2008 — Art & Design
At 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City, a pet shop opened four days ago without much fanfare. But after a closer look, this definitely isn't your normal kind of pet store. You don't find fish tanks, fluffy puppies and cute little kittens in the windows. No. Instead, a live leopard lounges on a tree in the window.

As you step inside it gets even more freaky, as you find McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sipping barbecue sauce from a tray. A rabbit puts on her makeup. A CCTV camera nurtures its young. But at this point, don't worry. It is only world famous street artist Banksy, who has pulled off a major secret 'art scam' again, reminiscent of the time when CCTV cameras caught him putting up his own paintings at MoMA.

Inside Banksy's pet store, things get weirder and weirder as breaded fish swim in a large round bowl while hot dogs are living the high life under heat lamps in cages near the cash register. Apparently this is the first time Banksy has used animatronics, and the effect is astonishing.

This is Banksy's first ever show in New York City--the others have been fakes--and the tiny storefront can only hold about 20 people at a time.

As always with Banksy, we can expect that as soon as people start reading this, photos and videos will be all over the web. But it is nothing like the real thing. So get down to Banksy's Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill and experience the pet show for yourself.