Normally his work is found on building walls and in other public spaces. This past Valentine’s Day, for example, street artist Banksy confirmed (on his Instagram account) that a piece of art appearing on the side of a house in Bristol – and depicting a young girl firing red flowers from a slingshot – was his.
When the piece was subsequently vandalised by a spray-painter, he once again used Instagram to observe, “I’m kind of glad the piece in Barton Hill got vandalised. The initial sketch was a lot better…”
In recent years, art lovers have had a chance to view the elusive artist’s sketches away from the streets, with exhibitions popping up around the world, including “Banksy: The Art of Protest” in Málaga last year and now “The World of Banksy” in Barcelona, after a successful exhibition in Paris.
The Málaga exhibition, at La Térmica, was described by the organisers as “bringing us closer to the controversial artistic universe of one of the most influential creators of recent years”. Like other exhibitions dedicated to Banksy, the Málaga collection was not authorised by the artist, “who seeks to defend his anonymity and his independence from the system”.
This latest “immersive experience” – which opened on 25 February – brings people even closer, with more than 100 works on show in a new central Barcelona venue, Espacio Trafalgar.
The exhibition is open from Tuesdays until Sundays (every day during school holidays) from 10m to 7pm, with a late opening until 9pm on Thursdays.
The entry fee is €12 for adults above 25 years, €9 for those aged 13 to 25 years, and €6 for children six to 12 and seniors above 65. Children under six can enter free, and the fee is €8 for people with reduced mobility (although access for the latter will only become possible from 20 March).
The organisers note that “the artist Banksy is not associated with this event”.
Banksy’s identity has never been publicly revealed, although there are different theories, all of which were enthusiastically tested once again with the release towards the end of last year of behind-the-scenes photographs apparently showing him at work.
The images were taken by his former agent, photographer, driver and gallerist Steve Lazarides, who was commissioned to create Banksy’s portrait in 1997.
Presenting his new book “Banksy Captured”, Lazarides said he worked with Banksy “for 11 glorious years, during which time we broke every rule in the rule book, along with a fair few laws”.
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