Culture vultures! Chances are you haven’t been able to soak up as much art as you would have liked this year. But you can absolutely make up for that in 2021 — and The Art of Banksy might not be a bad place to start.
This hotly-anticipated exhibition was originally meant to hit the capital back in April, before the coronavirus pandemic put a spanner in the works. It’s now been rescheduled for March 2021 and, while it may well be worth the wait for fans of Banksy, the show has already stirred up some controversy…
The Art of Banksy claims to be the largest touring collection of privately-owned works by the incognito street artist; a vast array of prints, canvasses, sculptures and limited editions works dating from 1997 to 2008. These include indoor iterations of such iconic works as Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower), originally graffitied onto Jerusalem’s West Bank wall, and Rude Copper, one of Banksy’s first-ever screen-prints.
These landmark examples of anti-establishment art, alongside rarer pieces, are set to take over an as-yet-unnamed 12,000 square foot space in the heart of Covent Garden, and tickets are on sale now.
However, it’s worth noting that this exhibition has not been authorised by Banksy; its website rather oddly describes the show as ‘completely non-consensual’ on the part of the artist. Some reviewers criticised the show for undermining the democratic nature of street art by charging an entrance fee — a particularly salient point, given the highly political nature of Banksy’s work, which frequently lambasts consumerism and elitism.
The irony was certainly not lost on Tharanga Ramanayake, a Canadian artist who crashed the Toronto leg of the exhibition by surreptitiously adding his own artwork to the show, an illustration entitled ‘Free for All’.
The Art of Banksy launches in March 2021 at an undisclosed location in Covent Garden. Tickets here.