‘World’s Largest’ Banksy Art Show Unauthorized By Artist Is Frowned Upon By Fans
By Mikelle Leow, 15 Jun 2018
Video screenshot via Banksy Exhibit
On 13 June, Steve Lazarides—a former agent for Banksy—opened what’s been touted as the world’s largest exhibit of works by the elusive graffiti street artist. ‘The Art of Banksy’ displays more than 80 Banksy pieces and boasts over US$35 million worth of art, including the iconic Balloon Girl and Laugh Now.
“This is a one-of-a-kind exhibition,” the event’s website reads. “You will never again have the opportunity to see so many works in one place. Once the exhibition is over, the artwork will be returned to 40 different art collectors around the world, and the chances that they will be displayed together again in the future are extremely slim.”
As much as fans would love to look at the artist’s controversial masterpieces, not all are keen to visit the show in Toronto. The man scorns capitalism and expresses it through his work, but Lazarides seems to be practicing just that by ironically ticketing a Banksy show.
It’s not just the CA$35 (US$27) tickets that are leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. The event is not endorsed by the artist, and some wonder if he would have allowed for it to happen, seeing as how his works are created in public spaces to be viewed by all.
“[It] shouldn’t be paid for!” wrote Twitter user ‘sungmanitu1958’. “The art of the man was intended for free audience, not for profit. If the organizers care, they should donate the proceeds…”
Canadian radio producer Aron Papernick said, “I’ve already seen the World’s Largest Banksy Exhibit. It was called, ‘London UK; Early 2000s.’” Another user called it “illegal irony.”
Lazarides isn’t fully convinced the anti-capitalist artist would have said no to the unauthorized exhibition, however. Telling CBC News, he said Banksy would rather see his work in one place than in “some warehouse somewhere.”
“At the end of the day, everything that was here was sold commercially at some point; the prints were sold, the paints were sold.”
Would you pay to attend a show filled with Banksy’s artworks?
Oh and this was outside BANKSY exhibit. pic.twitter.com/gq2Hb8Ya4l— CASIE STEWART ☀️ (@casiestewart) June 13, 2018
So basically commercializing and profiting off an artist who artwork and mission are about anti-commercialization and anti-corporate mainstream capitalism... and you dont see the irony in that? pic.twitter.com/Hs86cnKjIL— ⬛️⬛️⬛️ (@ConjureBlk) June 14, 2018
Shouldn't be paid for! The art of the man was intended for free audience not for profit. If the organisers care they should donate the proceeds to #HumanityRequired— Sungmanitu1958 (@sungmanitu1958) June 14, 2018
It’s $35 to see this rogue Banksy exhibition? 🙄 https://t.co/1fWA0Dk7s9— Local Bot (@shawnmicallef) June 14, 2018
Illegal Irony— ✩ 𝒟𝑜𝓃𝒾𝒶 ✩ (@OnlyDoniaUKnow) June 14, 2018
Is it really "street art" if it's framed and hung in a gallery that charges an admission fee?— Aggressive Manatee (@IllflexMyears) June 14, 2018
On the other hand, most of the pieces on display at #BanksyToronto are loaned from private collections; many of those collectors bought them from Banksy so he's already been paid for the work and the exhibit gives the opportunity for his work to be viewed by a broader audience.— Wayne Leung (@wayleu) June 13, 2018
[via Twitter Moments, cover image via Banksy Exhibit]
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