'Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?' exhibit shows work of controversial street artist in NYC

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Thursday, November 4, 2021
'Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?' shows work of renowned artist
A Banksy exhibit showing more than 80 pieces of the renowned and controversial street artist's work is captivating audiences in New York City.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A one-of-a-kind Banksy exhibit showing more than 80 pieces of the renowned and controversial street artist's work is captivating audiences in New York City.

"Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?" is open at 526 Sixth Avenue, at the southeast corner of West 14th Street, and guides visitors through dozens of sculptures, videos, photos, original works and limited edition screen prints.

The exhibition, which was presented in 15 cities around the world, arrived in New York on September 1 and is dedicated to the famous and enigmatic British artist.

It was set to close at the end of November but has since been extended through March.

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"He is best known for his graffiti art, which he does stealthily in the dark of night," Exhibition Club Director of Operations Tracy Schiller said.

Schiller is part of the team who pulled together the project in Chelsea, with the featured pieces worth a whopping $30 million.

There are several themes, including police, war, the royal family, and his shredded drawing described as quite possibly the biggest prank in art history.

"His messages are pretty intense and pretty powerful," Schiller said. "But to us, they are joyful."

As a kid at home in Bristol, Banksy dodged police who were hot on his trail after spotting his work on buildings.

Over the years, the world has become his canvas. But his true identity is a fiercely guarded secret by his closest friends.

"I think people like the fact that he is a rebel but he gets to remain anonymous and always have that cache as that type of persona," Schiller said.

It's unclear what Banksy thinks of the exhibit, but what might be a hint is a mysterious tag that appeared across the street.

It's since been painted over but may possibly be Banksy's way of signing off on the project.

"Banksy has progressed beyond a graffiti artist to become one of the greatest contemporary artists of our time," Schiller said.

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The multimedia installation created especially for this exhibition welcomes visitors, revealing clues of the mystery artist and highlighting his most important pieces, framing his unusual career wrapped in controversy.

In addition to the largest collection of artworks anywhere by Banksy, the exhibition presents art installations, photos and videos showing street works by Banksy -- which are currently mostly lost -- in what was their original organic environment.

The tour includes a free audio guide with more details about the exhibition accessible through a phone app.

CLICK HERE for more information about the exhibit and to get tickets.


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