Banksy’s First Unauthorised Retrospective In London
Street Art becoming mainstream?
This week renowned street artist Banksy’s first unauthorized exhibition will open in Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery in London, an exhibition that some people will anticipate with mixed feelings when they’ll hear about it. Really, shouldn’t street art be in the streets instead of in high-end galleries?
This Banksy retrospective doesn’t, however, contain any of the works Banksy painted in public spaces – and which later on got removed, legally or illegally, for sales purposes. Instead the works on display are works the street artist made off the street, as the curator of this exhibition Steve Lazarides tells ITV during an interview about the exhibition.
Having been Banksy’s agent from the beginning of the street artist’s career from the early 1990’s until 2008, Lazarides – an urban art specialist and art gallery owner – was able to gather some 70 of Banksy’s sculptures, prints and paintings for this exhibition, of which some have never been shown to the public before.
The exhibition has been put together without the street artist’s cooperation and as Lazarides tells, Banksy would most likely hate it.
Lazarides, however, does see it differently and considers this exhibition as a validation of street art in the art world. To this we kind of have to agree.
The simple fact that an established gallery like Sotheby’s has an exhibition dedicated to a street artist is an acknowledgement that street art is getting more accepted and appreciated as an art form, a welcomed development in our opinion. It’s a change that gradually took place over the last decade and has not gone unnoticed by many, as we see from street art festivals around the world, more and more commissioned street art walls around in public spaces and even the street art tours and workshops attracting mixed audiences of young and old.
This exhibition is expected to draw in crowds of people who’d otherwise not be able to see or find Banksy’s work, so also from that perspective we do appreciate the initiative for and organisation of this exhibition. But it still leaves us with some unanswered questions.
What do you think? Do you think street artists’ works should be on the streets, or do you think it’s about time that it comes in to the museums and galleries, making more space for the broad spectrum of talented street artists?
The unauthorized exhibition of Banksy in London is on from 11 June to 25 July 2014 at S|2 located at 31 St. George Street, London W1S 2FJ, United Kingdom. Opening hours gallery: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm plus Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 June 12pm – 5pm.
[ale_divider style=”thin” text=”textleft”] Our other articles about Banksy [/ale_divider]