Banksy outraged as GUESS uses artwork without permission

Banksy's art in GUESS window display
Picture by Banksy from

Banksy has called out on GUESS for using one of his famous works on Regent Street display without permission.

The artist was outraged after seeing his art on a random Regent Street window and turned to Instagram to support his case: “Attention all shoplifters! Please go to GUESS on Regent Street. They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?”

GUESS uses the art as an advertisement for their new collection in cooperation with Brandalised, titled ‘GUESS X Brandalised with Graffiti from Banksy’. Brandalised have notably used many of Banksy’s work in the past for their creations without permission from the artist.

According to the Copyright legislation in the UK, copyright protection comes into force automatically when one creates an original art piece. Artists can mark their work with the copyright symbol (©), name and year of creation. However, this doesn’t affect the level of protection they receive. Copyright prevents people from copying and distributing art works, and most importantly in this case, displaying it in public.

Even so, copyright claims are still kind of a grey area. Banksy has actually had a copyright dispute last year with Full Colour Black, the mother company of Brandalised. The case was over a greeting card which featured Banksy’s famous monkey figure holding a sign. Unfortunately, the artist has lost the trademark case at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Banksy fans are shocked by the Regent Street display, with many of them judging GUESS over the case.

The Voice of London has contacted GUESS for comment but has not received a reply so far.

Read about similar stories in our Art & Culture section.

Words: Anna Kamocsai | Subbing: Rui Liang

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