The world's largest touring collection of Banksy art is coming to London

Marie-Claire Chappet
·3-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

Banksy may have scrawled works across the capital's walls for years, but next month marks the arrival of the UK's biggest exhibition of his work.

The Art of Banksy features original pieces from one of the most divisive and talked-about artists in modern history. The collection features over 70 original works gathered from private collections across the globe; prints, canvasses, screen prints, sculptures, unique works and limited-edition pieces largely hailing from between the years 1997 to 2008 - which includes some of Banksy's most iconic images.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

“An artist made by the people, for the people, and perhaps one of the most powerful artists of a generation – this is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that celebrates the work of an artist often ignored by the arts establishment," says Michel Boersma, a producer of The Art of Banksy. "It is a real chance to see the best and the brightest of one of the UK’s best-loved artists.”

Across the world, this exhibition has already accrued over 750,000 global visitors to date on its tour through Melbourne, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Toronto, Miami, Gothenburg and Sydney. Its first ever London edition will be staged right at the heart of Seven Dials, Covent Garden and will spotlight the infamous ‘Brace Yourself’ artwork and its dodgem riding Grim Reaper. It will be one of the rare outings of this special piece, which made headlines back in 2010 when it was gifted by Banksy to a band. It was previously known as ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’, in exchange for the rights to their name. The vast 245 x 182cm work – one of the largest ever created by Banksy - will take centre stage in the exhibition opening.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

"After an unprecedented year that put the capital into a slumber, we are thrilled to be part of the cultural reawakening of London this May," says co-presenter Sean Sweeney. "Many of these spectacular pieces live hidden away in private homes, collections and even warehouses. We are acutely aware that the people have been starved of art for over a year, and these works have been missing the public for even longer. This summer is going to be a momentous time for culture in our capital, and we just can’t wait to open our doors and be part of it."

In typical elusive Banksy style, the exhibition is not authorised by the mysterious artist. All artworks are on loan from private collectors.

'The Art of Banksy' runs from Thursday 20 May 2021 – Sunday November 21 2021 at 50 Earlham St, West End, London WC2H 9LJ artofbanksy.co.uk

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