An exhibit featuring pieces from the iconic street artist Banksy will be on display from June 13 to July 11 in Toronto’s west end.
The mysterious U.K. graffiti artist and activist is best known for his satirical street art and installations that feature provocative anti-war and anti-capitalism messages. His art has appeared on buildings and in public spaces all over the world, including London, Israel, New York, and even in Toronto.
“The Art of Banksy” features sculptures, paintings, screen prints and installations of the artist’s iconic work.
“It’s a snapshot of all the things Banksy ever did in his kind of ‘events’,” exhibit curator Steve Lazarides told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
Lazarides met the artist in 1997 when he was commissioned to take Banksy’s portrait. He went on to document his work for two years and eventually became his manager. Though he stopped representing Banksy over a decade ago, he believes people need to remember how street art became so popular.
“With the semi-legitimization of the graffiti world, I think it’s brought a different kind of person that comes in,” said Lazarides. “I think before, people were willing to risk their liberty to put their message out, and now short of painting naked in the street, it’s difficult to get arrested.”
The $35-million dollar exhibit features 80 original works associated with Banksy. All the work on display has been loaned by private collectors. It is being held in a repurposed ammunitions factory in Toronto’s west end. True to his elusive reputation, Banksy will not be attending
“I think my favourite part of the whole exhibit it the screen print room,” Lazarides said, referring to a part of the exhibit focused on ten thousand low-cost prints that Banksy made and sold to regular individuals outside of the art world as a way to make art collecting more accessible.
“He belongs to the general public, and they deserve to see it,” Lazarides told CTVToronto.
“The Art of Banksy” is sponsored in part by Bell Media, whichCTVNews is a division of. Tickets for the exhibit are on sale now.