Visitors to the show had very little idea what to expect, but Banksy pulled out all the stops with his new work and integrated older pieces flawlessly. Those familiar with Banksy’s work will recognize several reworked pieces that have been seen in the past as well as a re-contextualized NYC Pet Shop and Grill. What stands out most however, is the quantity of new work in the show.
There are at least 70 new works in the show that have never before been exhibited. What’s most striking about the overall exhibit is how appropriately it fits inside the museum. His work is no longer out of place: it belongs. Clearly every detail of the installation was meticulously planned as much of it is site-specific. Even the gift shop full of Banksy’s books and other street art related paraphernalia seems to fit right in.
More analysis and all the pics after the jump…
There is no denying the importance of Banksy. His work as an artist, political activist, social commentator and, perhaps most importantly and least known, as a philanthropist, has broken through so many barriers, opened the eyes of many and genuinely done something to make the world a better place. Yet somehow with all the fame, fortune and attention he is able to mount a massive exhibit with not one media leak all under a still carefully clouded and anonymous identity.
The only disappointment would be the lack of anything really new or “groundbreaking,” as one would expect from Banksy. The NYC pet shop was such a revolution and less than a year later, it has become a museum piece, even if many more visitors will now get to see it in person. The “Crude Oils” are true standouts in the show as well as is the awesome “House of Commons” piece, where real monkeys have replaced the human monkeys that usually occupy the seats.
Needless to say, it’s an exhibit that one should see in person, if at all possible. At this point, we have no reports on sales or prices (and in true Banksy-style, the public perception is said to be that nothing is for sale). However, since he is self-financing the exhibit, we all know the money has to come from somewhere.
The exhibit will be open to the public June 13th – August 21st (10 am – 5 pm) with free admission.
Discuss Banksy here.