The world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks is headed for London this spring in a UK first
Spring 2021 can’t come fast enough for a variety of reasons – blossom trees, longer days and the potential end of Covid being just a few of them. But now there’s another reason to wish away the next few months – the arrival of a huge new Banksy exhibition in London.
For the very first time, the UK will host an array of unique pieces from the mysterious political activist, satirist and artist, who has spent most of the last three decades anonymously tagging streets across the world.
The Art of Banksy, launching in May 2021 for a limited season, will feature world-famous pieces including Flower Thrower, Rude Copper and Girl and Balloon, alongside works rarely seen by the general public.
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Anticipated to be one of the stand-out shows of the spring, the colossal collection includes authenticated and certified Banksy artworks, with infamous prints, sculptures and limited editions scattered across the walls of a vast 12,000 square foot space in Covent Garden.
‘This is a one-of-a-kind exhibition,’ said Chris Ford, Curator of Art of Banksy. ‘Banksy is the most powerful and recognised artist of a generation, who has been completely ignored by the establishment thus far.
‘Banksy is the most powerful and recognised artist of a generation, who has been completely ignored by the establishment thus far’
‘There is no reason why there shouldn’t be a Banksy hanging in every single major contemporary art museum in the world.’
On display are prints, canvasses, screen prints, sculptures, unique works and limited-edition pieces mainly dated between the years 1997 to 2008 – the period that Banksy produced his most recognisable works.
Following Banksy’s Show Me the Monet collecting over £7.5m at auction in October 2020, public intrigue around one of the most talked-about artists of the 21st century is on the up again.
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In true Banksy style, the exhibition hasn’t been authorised by or curated in collaboration with the globally renowned, yet highly secretive, street artist.
Decades of rumours continue to swirl as to the identity of this record-breaking artist, although the intriguing artist is believed to have been born in Bristol, and many are convinced that Banksy is actually Massive Attack frontman Robert Del Naja, who had been a graffiti artist during the 80s and had previously been identified as a close friend of Banksy.
More recently, many started to suspect Neil Buchanan is actually Banksy, a theory the popular 90s TV artist has strenuously denied.
All artworks are on loan from private collectors, curated by Chris Ford, an international street art specialist who was instrumental in developing the commercial rise of Banksy’s artwork, successfully placing multi-million-pound works into prestigious international collections. Ford also co-curated Banksy: Greatest Hits: 2002 – 2008, which took place at Lazinc in Mayfair in 2018.
So far, The Art of Banksy has travelled to the likes of Sydney, Miami, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Toronto, welcoming more than 750,000 visitors.
The Art of Banksy runs from 20 May until 21 November 2021 at 50 Earlham Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9LJ. Tickets from £21.50. To book see artofbanksy.co.uk or call 08440 412001
Banksy works due to feature in The Art of Banksy:
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