Now that it’s Basel time in Miami, the whole art world is turning its collective gaze to South Florida. One of the must-see exhibits this year is “The Art of Banksy.” Eighty works from the superstar street artist are on display, but if you think that you’re gonna catch a glimpse of the elusive creator, don’t hold your breath.
“The Art of Banksy” is currently on display at Miami’s Magic City Studios.
Steve Lazarides, curator, “The Art of Banksy”: “So the show here is a collection of Banksy’s artworks spreading across maybe a 20-year period, covering all the different disciplines he’s done, from screen prints to sculpture to paintings.”
Banksy’s style of street art has connected with everyday folks from the get-go.
Steve Lazarides: “He genuinely belongs to the public. They’re the people that made him. You know, it’s not just the art-loving public that love him, it’s the general public that love him.”
Starting off as a graffiti artist gave Banksy immediate street cred.
Steve Lazarides: “It was the artwork of the disenfranchised and the dispossessed. That’s what graffiti has always been. It was for people that didn’t have a voice.”
His creations sell for major bucks these days, but getting rich was never part of the equation for artists like Banksy.
Steve Lazarides: “They never knew they were gonna become big. They never knew they were gonna make money. That’s not why they did it. They did it ’cause they had something to say.”
Banksy’s always been sending up the establishment. You remember “Girl with Balloon,” right? It sold for $1.4 million at a London auction in October — and then it was shredded.
Miami was picked to be the first city in the U.S. to show “The Art of Banksy.” Art Basel had something to do with it, but the choice was a no-brainer.
Steve Lazarides: “Miami’s got a great street art tradition as well. It’s been pushing it out for the last 10, 15 years, so it’s a good place to come and bring it.”
Banksy’s become famous by not seeking out fame. The identity of the artist is a secret, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Steve Lazarides: “This is a guy who just wants to, you know, sit back, make his art and put a message out.”
But is Banksy a guy? Nobody really knows for sure. I mean, we could’ve bumped into him — or her — at the exhibit and not even known it.
So we had to ask, “Are you Banksy?”
Exhibit attendee 1: “No.” (laughs)
Exhibit attendee 2: “I might be Banksy.”
Exhibit attendee 3: “I’m not not Banksy.”
Steve Lazarides: “Yes.” (laughs)
You’ve got time to check out “The Art of Banksy.” The exhibit will run at Magic City Studios now through Feb. 28.
And, if anybody asks you if you’re Banksy, just smile and say “maybe.”
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“The Art of Banksy”
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