Banksy’s works on show in Madrid without his ap­proval

Kuwait Times - - Lifestyle | Features -

Banksy has been Banksied. The guerilla artist who puts up his work in pub­lic spa­ces without ask­ing au­tho­riza­tion is the sub­ject of a new show in Madrid fea­tur­ing his works-without his au­tho­riza­tion. “Ge­nius or Van­dal?” opened Thurs­day at the Ifema cen­tre in the Span­ish cap­i­tal and will run un­til March 10. It has al­ready pulled in half a mil­lion vis­i­tors at its pre­vi­ous venues Moscow and Saint Peters­burg, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the or­ga­niz­ers.

The show’s cu­ra­tor Alexan­der Nachke­biya, who as­sem­bled the works from pri­vate col­lec­tors, de­scribes Banksy as “a phe­nom­e­non and one of the most bril­liant and im­por­tant artist of our epoch”. The street artist him­self re­mains some­thing of an enigma. All he has re­vealed about him­self is that he is British and that his home town is Bris­tol in south­east Eng­land. But the dark wit of his art and a cer­tain tal­ent for self-pro­mo­tion has helped him build up an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion, to the point that his works have fetched more than a mil­lion pounds.

In Au­gust, Banksy


his In­sta­gram ac­count — 5.1 mil­lion fol­low­ers-to make his po­si­tion clear on the orig­i­nal Moscow show. He posted an ex­change of mes­sages be­tween him and a fol­lower who tipped him off to the unau­tho­rized ex­hi­bi­tion. Told they were charg­ing a £20 ($25, 22 euro) en­trance free, Ban­sky replied: “I wish I could find it funny. What’s the op­po­site of LOL?”

But at the sug­ges­tion that he put out a state­ment de­nounc­ing the fact that it was made to look like an of­fi­cial show, he replied: “...not sure I’m the best per­son to com­plain about peo­ple putting up pic­tures without get­ting per­mis­sion.” Nev­er­the­less, his web­site does carry a mes­sage warn­ing vis­i­tors about this and other shows. “They’ve been or­ga­nized en­tirely without the artist’s knowl­edge or in­volve­ment. Please treat them ac­cord­ingly.”

In the mean­time, his sub­ver­sive style con­tin­ues to at­tract ad­mir­ers. His most re­cent stunt was at the Oc­to­ber auc­tion of one of his works, “Girl with Bal­loon”, at Sotheby’s in Lon­don. Mo­ments af­ter it sold for £1,042,000 — a joint record for the mav­er­ick artist-it un­ex­pect­edly passed through a shred­der hid­den in the frame. Only par­tially de­stroyed, the buyer went through with the pur­chase and some art ex­perts said it was prob­a­bly now worth more than it had been be­fore the stunt.—AFP

It was def­i­nitely “All” rather than “Noth­ing at All” at a Frank Si­na­tra auc­tion in New York, where items owned by the late icon and his fourth wife fetched $9.2 mil­lion, Sotheby’s said Fri­day. And 99 per­cent of the lots, spread out this week in the US fi­nan­cial and en­ter­tain­ment cap­i­tal, and on­line, were snapped up, at­tract­ing 300 bid­ders from more than 30 coun­tries, the auc­tion house an­nounced.

Up for grabs was fur­ni­ture, art and per­sonal ef­fects dat­ing back to the cou­ple’s 22-year mar­riage-art and fur­ni­ture from their homes in Palm Springs, Los An­ge­les and Mal­ibu-as well as scripts and screen­plays. The top lot was Bar­bara Si­na­tra’s 20-carat di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring, given to her in the bot­tom of a cham­pagne glass, which went for $1.7 mil­lion. Many of the items fetched sub­stan­tially more than their pre-sale es­ti­mates.

They in­cluded a Nor­man Rock­well por­trait of Si­na­tra, which the singer com­mis­sioned, sold for $687,000 and a script for “From Here to Eter­nity,” the movie for which he won an Os­car, went for $35,000. The USA Drink­ing Team jacket marked “Coach” that Si­na­tra wore for nights on the town with his friends sold for $35,000 — 70 times its $500 es­ti­mate.

A po­lice badge given to Si­na­tra by Es­sex County New Jer­sey and in­scribed “chair­man of the board, Frank Si­na­tra” went for a whop­ping $18,750 and a hand-cro­cheted yarmulke em­bla­zoned with Frank’s name fetched $9,375. Of the mem­o­ra­bilia trac­ing Si­na­tra’s friend­ship with ev­ery US pres­i­dent from Harry Tru­man to Bill Clin­ton, a color pho­to­graph in­scribed by Ger­ald Ford, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ron­ald Rea­gan sold for $68,750.

The son of Ital­ian im­mi­grants and born in New Jer­sey in 1915, Si­na­tra was one of the best loved en­ter­tain­ers of the 20th cen­tury with hits such as “Strangers in the Night,” “My Way” and “All or Noth­ing at All.” He first mar­ried teenage sweet­heart Nancy Bar­bato (1939-1949), with whom he had three chil­dren, then Hol­ly­wood stars Ava Gard­ner (1951-57) and Mia Far­row (1966-68). He mar­ried Bar­bara in 1976. She died last year.—AFP

In this file photo a Nor­man Rock­well Por­trait of Frank Si­na­tra is dis­played at Sotheby’s in New York. — AFP

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