Unau­tho­rized ‘Art of Banksy’ ex­hi­bi­tion com­ing to Mi­ami for Art Basel 2018

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - ART - By Phillip Valys

“The Art of Banksy,” a mas­sive tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion of 80 works by the Bri­tish graf­fiti artist, is com­ing to the Magic City In­no­va­tion District in Mi­ami this De­cem­ber for Art Basel week.

This is the U.S. pre­miere of the show, cu­rated by Bri­tish gallery owner Steve Lazarides, the elu­sive street artist’s for­mer agent. As such, the glo­be­trot­ting show (it’s al­ready vis­ited Toronto and Tel Aviv) brings rare ac­cess to Banksy’s sten­ciled-graf­fiti shenani­gans, fea­tur­ing orig­i­nal paint­ings, sculp­tures and screen prints paired with Lazarides’ pho­to­graphs of early-ca­reer Banksy in ac­tion. The works are on loan from pri­vate col­lec­tors who bought the Banksy pieces when Lazarides rep­re­sented the artist.

Gen­eral-ad­mis­sion tick­ets for “The Art of Banksy” start at $34.99 and will go on sale to the pub­lic at 10 a.m. Satur­day, Oct. 27, via BanksyEx­hibit.com, with pre-sale passes on sale Tues­day for Citibank card­hold­ers via Ci­tiPri­vatePass.com. Timed tick­ets, es­sen­tially an hour­long VIP reser­va­tion with an au­dio guide, ex­hi­bi­tion poster and a “vis­ual guide­book,” will also go on sale Oct. 27 for $99.

The ex­hibit opens Dec. 1 in­side the 20,000-square-foot Magic City In­no­va­tion Stu­dios, 6301 N.E. Fourth Ave., and while a clos­ing date isn’t listed on the ex­hibit’s web­site, ad­vance passes can be pur­chased through Feb. 28.

The show isn’t sanc­tioned by the no­to­ri­ously anony­mous artist, a Magic City Stu­dios spokesper­son said. That’s hardly sur­pris­ing, given Banksy’s stance against charg­ing ad­mis­sion to view his art­works. “I don’t charge peo­ple to see my art un­less there’s a fair­ground wheel,” Banksy joked on In­sta­gram in Au­gust, af­ter a com­menter posted about a sim­i­lar unau­tho­rized dis­play in Moscow.

In an in­ter­view with the web­site Time Out, Lazarides con­firmed as much, say­ing that he hasn’t spo­ken to Banksy in eight years, and didn’t seek his per­mis­sion. “He prob­a­bly f------ hates it,” Lazarides told the pub­li­ca­tion. “But I think [Banksy] gen­uinely be­longs to the gen­eral pub­lic. He made him­self pub­lic prop­erty […] and I haven’t taken any­thing off the street. I’ve just put a col­lec­tion of works to­gether for peo­ple to en­joy the art of Banksy.”

Nonethe­less, the tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter. On Oct. 5, a clip of the satir­i­cal scamp and auc­tion-house prankster partly shred­ding his $1.4 mil­lion art­work “Girl With Bal­loon” at Sotheby’s in Lon­don went vi­ral. In a fol­lowup YouTube clip, Banksy sug­gested that the hid­den shred­der built into the paint­ing’s frame un­ex­pect­edly jammed, and should have de­stroyed “Girl With Bal­loon.” (The buyer kept the partly tat­tered piece, since reti­tled “Love Is in the Bin.”)

Banksy’s thought-pro­vok­ing early works form the bulk of the col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing his tonguein-cheek “Fly­ing Cop­per” (2003), de­pict­ing a cop wear­ing riot gear and a pair of an­gel wings; his ubiq­ui­tous “Flower Thrower” (2003), show­ing a masked rebel pre­par­ing to throw a bou­quet; and his World War II-in­spired “Flag Wall,” which brought him U.S. fame when it de­buted at Los Angeles’ “Barely Le­gal” ex­hibit in 2006.

The Magic City In­no­va­tion District is work­ing with con­cert pro­moter Live­Na­tion and Mi­ami Mayor Fran­cis Suarez to do­nate 50,000 tick­ets to “lo­cal stu­dents,” ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, although it’s un­clear whether those stu­dents must live in Mi­ami-Dade County.


Banksy’s “Girl With Bal­loon” is one of the artists' most fa­mous works. “The Art of Banksy” will open in Lit­tle Haiti to co­in­cide with Art Basel 2018.

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