IEG PRO D UCTIO NS
T HE ART O F
BANKSY Curated by STEVE LAZARIDES
BANKSY: THE MYSTERIOUS ARTISTIC GENIOUS Nobody knows who is Banksy, yet everybody knows who he is. He is probably the most famous yet the most mysterious graffiti artist this world has seen. Some consider him a prankster whereas others, an artistic genius. From Bristol to Barcelona, Sydney to San Francisco, one thing that everyone agrees on is that his popularity cannot be denied. In 2010, Time magazine selected the British artist for its list of the world’s 100 most influential people among the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. Millions know him, and his works are on sale for millions. As the enigmatic and elusive king of street art, Banksy has a unique power. He has an unnerving ability to get to the heart of the matter and is able to express strong political statements with poetry, energy and humour. Any location with his works becomes “the” place to see. When Bristol city centre asked residents to vote on whether they wanted Banksy work removed, ninety-seven per cent of people said it was a welcome addition to the town. His works are almost like limited gifts across the urban landscape. In 2005, even British Museum couldn’t resist Banksy’s charm and added a Banksy work to its permanent collection. So when we found a chance to bring Banksy’s work to Istanbul, we couldn’t miss it. Banksy is an exciting artist and we are delighted to be offering works by him. “The Art of Banksy” Exhibition will be a remarkable art event for Istanbul and art lovers. Starting its world premiere in Istanbul, the exhibition then will visit global capitals. We hope you are as excited as us. YALÇIN BALCI Producer Istanbul Entertainment Group
“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.” BANKSY
THE ART OF BANKSY: GLOBAL ART SHOW ON TOUR The Barton Hill district of Bristol in the 1980s was a scary part of town. Very white workingclass, run-down and unwelcoming to strangers. So when Banksy, who came from a much leafier part of town, decided to go make his first foray there, he was nervous. But his tension quickly turned into fame, putting Bristol into international radar for Graffiti. Soon, Bristol became synonymous with Banksy, and people started to visit Bristol in the hope for getting more information about Banksy. After Bristol, the whole world turned into a canvas for Banksy. Still, very little is known about Banksy himself, as he refuses to be interviewed and keeps his identity carefully maintained. A world-renowned mystery man, Banksy has risen through the ranks to become one of the world’s greatest street artists partly by creating an urgency to understand his character. Street art fanatics are consistently satisfied with every piece of art he delivers, though he often leaves them wanting more. It’s the “Banksy Effect”. Like Banksy turning the city space to a playground, his art opens up the white gallery space to a colorful carnival. As an exhibition “The Art of Banksy” consists of key artworks that mark the prolific street artist’s colourful climb to fame. The unorthodox exhibition of unique artwork illustrates various poignant periods of the artist’s career, drawing together privately owned pieces and pieces from Lazarides collection. STEVE LAZARIDES
Steve Lazarides (born 1969) is an English art gallery owner best known for his role as agent for the graffiti artist, Banksy. Steve grew up in Bristol, England and having studied photography at Newcastle University. He is noted as one of the first figures to help popularise street art. Lazarides was working on a photograph shoot for Sleaze Nation magazine when he met Banksy. He then began selling the graffiti artist’s work to friends and became Banksy’s agent, with some sources claiming he “launched Banksy’s career”. Lazarides subsequently launched the
‘Pictures on Walls’ website to promote graffiti art, and widened his scope to work with a larger roster of street artists. The market in street art took off in 2007 only shortly before the 2008 Recession, with Banksy’s work, “Laugh Now”, selling for £ 228,000 at auction in early 2008. According to the Financial Times, “If there had been one individual responsible for whipping up and sustaining the fever around urban art, and who stood to lose most from its demise, it was Steve Lazarides.”
“If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask” BANKSY
BANKSY: IDENTITY STILL REMAINS UNKNOWN Banksy is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around 1974. He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s. Banksy is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art. Banksy began his career as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s, in Bristol’s graffiti gang DryBreadZ Crew. Although his early work was largely freehand, Banksy used stencils on occasion. In the late ‘90s, he began using stencils predominantly. His work became more widely recognized around Bristol and in London, as his signature style developed. Banksy’s artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is known for his installation artwork. One of the most celebrated of these pieces, which featured a live elephant painted with a Victorian wallpaper pattern, sparked controversy among animal rights activists. Other pieces have drawn attention for their edgy themes or the boldness of their execution. Banksy’s work on the West Bank barrier, between Israel and Palestine, received significant media attention in 2005. He is also known for his use of copyrighted material and subversion of classic images. An example of this is Banksy’s version of Monet’s famous series of water lilies paintings, adapted by Banksy to include drifting trash and debris. Banksy’s worldwide fame has transformed his artwork from acts of vandalism to sought-after high art pieces. Journalist Max Foster has referred to the rising prices of graffiti as street art as “the Banksy effect.” Interest in Banksy escalated with the release of the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award. In October 2013, Banksy took to the streets of New York City. There he pledged to create a new piece of art for each day of his residency. As he explained to the Village Voice, “The plan is to live here, react to things, see the sights—and paint on them. Some of it will be pretty elaborate, and some will just be a scrawl on a toilet wall.” During that month, he also sold some of his works on the street for $60 a piece, well below the market value for his art.
© 2015 May, Istanbul Museum & Exhibition Management and Consultancy Co. V2
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"There are almost 100 art pieces in the exhibition, which makes it the biggest show of Banksy in The Netherlands. What we are doing is to ma...