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NYC Gallery Tries to Out-Banksy Banksy

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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HAVE YOU SEEN HIM? Banksy

It seems we've all been fooled by the Banksy exhibition at Chelsea's Vanina Holasek Gallery, but, surprisingly, not by the infamous practical jokester. A few private collectors learned a thing or two from Banksy's tricky ways (and perhaps from the many faux-Banksy hawkers), bought themselves a gallery full of prints and some props, and went to town selling them some Banksys.

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Robin Barton, co-owner of the Bankrobber Gallery in London and co-organizer of the Holasek gallery event says gallerists were just jazzing things up a bit and decorating the gallery in the style of Banksy, not trying to trick anyone into spending a small fortune on public art. A press release for the show, however, is titled "Banksy Does New York," and nowhere does it mention that the mystery man has not authorized the show. "It's all in the fine print," Barton says, adding, "You've got to bear in mind, we don't expect people to come in off the streets and buy at these prices. We deal with the collectors separately."

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