THE BANKSY MUSEUM, world's largest exhibition of Banksy art, now open in NYC

Reported on Monday, June 24, 2024

Pictured Above: The Banksy Museum, NYC. Photo Credit: Contributed.

A Museum That Celebrates an Artist who Hates Museums

NEWSROOM POST: NEW YORK, NEW YORK

 

New York, NY – The Banksy Museum in New York City is the home to the world’s largest collection of Banksy’s life-sized murals and artwork. Located at 277 Canal Street (at Broadway), NYC The Banksy Museum is now open. Tickets are now available online at MuseumBanksy.com and on site at the museum. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged. 

 

Displaying over 160 works by the world’s most famous-yet-anonymous street artist, The Banksy Museum recreates the revolutionary and often ephemeral art that Banksy has painted on surfaces in London, Bristol, Paris, Venice, Bethlehem, New York, Los Angeles, and beyond. Visitors to the museum will immerse themselves in an environmental experience, giving viewers access to Banksy creations, much of which has long since been whitewashed or dismantled. Beyond the iconic street art, the exhibition also features some of the artist’s studio work, as well as animated visual and video elements.

 

The New York Banksy Museum experience, an American premiere, follows successful exhibitions in ParisBarcelonaKraków and Brussels. The new exhibition, a New York premiere, is expanded to over 160 recreations, making it the largest display of Banksy work ever seen in a single setting.

Is it even possible to create a museum that celebrates the work of an artist who once said “the only thing worth looking at in most museums of art is all the schoolgirls on day trips with the art departments”? 

 

Banksy Museum founder Hazis Vardar initially had his doubts. “Street art belongs in the raw setting of the streets,” said Vardar. “But if people can’t see it, is it even art? Little of Banksy’s works are visible to the public at large. Most have been stolen for resale, inadvertently destroyed, or erased by overzealous city cleaning teams. Most of this transient art could only be viewed on tiny smartphone screens, which is no way to experience the scale or emotion of Banksy’s work. So we knew that we needed to create an exhibition that would bring Banksy’s art back before the public.”

 

Creators of The Banksy Museum faced the challenge of mounting an exhibition that was as unconventional and transgressive as the art within. “If we only trapped Banksy’s work in gilt frames on a wall, this would antithesize all that Banksy’s art represents,” says Vardar. “So we set out to recreate the artworks in a life-size, re-imagined space that reflects the street experience. We employed a team of anonymous street artists, like Banksy, to recreate the work. The outcome was, truly, a magnificent reflection of Banksy’s energy, defiance, and raw talent.” 

Banksy is undoubtedly, the world’s most celebrated and elusive guerrilla street artist. Armed with little more than spray paint and stencils, the man behind the pseudonym Banksy has fostered an alluring identity that doesn’t embrace tradition, but shreds it. There’s still much we don’t know about the mysterious artist since he first made his mark in the ’90s, but what we do know is that Banksy’s striking, satirical work always delves into political and socio-critical discourse. Banksy’s artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. 

 

His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy, and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is known for his installation artwork. A hero to some, a vandal to others, Banksy’s artwork has been known to sell for record-breaking sums, with landowners rushing to profit from – or whitewash – buildings chosen as his latest canvas. 

 

Banksy maintains an oxymoronic relationship with the art world, demonstrating hostility to capitalism while being one of the most sought-after and collected contemporary artists. Celebrities who’ve collected Banksy art include Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, and Lance Armstrong to name a few. 

Banksy was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2010 documentary feature Exit Through the Gift Shop, an examination of the relationship between commercial and street art. 

In Wall and Piece, one of his four books containing photographs of his work complemented with his own thoughts, Banksy says “copyright is for losers” and encourages non-commercial use of his work for activism and the public’s personal enjoyment.

 

Banksy’s art has been further amplified by worldwide media coverage of his rebellious pranks. Between 2003 – 2005, Banksy made headlines by covertly placing his artwork beside masterpieces at The Tate and The British Museums in London; The Louvre in París; and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum and The American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 2018, Banksy shook the art establishment when he orchestrated the self-destruction of his canvas, “Girl with Balloon,“ having it drop through a shredder built into the bottom of its gilt frame just moments after it sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s. The first artwork in history to have been created live during an auction, the work was renamed “Love Is In The Bin” and resold for $25.4 million just three years later.

The art world has coined the phrase “the Banksy effect” to illustrate the increased interest in other street artists, largely due to Banksy’s overwhelming international success.

Where / When: The Banksy Museum, 277 Canal Street, NYC 10013 (at Broadway) is open daily, 10AM – 8PM.

 

Tickets: Tickets are now available online at MuseumBanksy.com and on site at the museum. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $30 for adults; $26 for students & seniors; $21 for children, 6 – 12 years. Admission is free for children 5 years or younger.

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