For decades, street art enthusiasts have hunted for signs of the anonymous artist Banksy spray-painted on buildings, bridges and in other obscure urban settings. But next year, Denverites can see more than 100 original works in one place when a show called “The Art of Banksy” comes to the Mile High City.
The exhibit is slated to open on April 14, 2022, at a yet-to-be-disclosed venue, according to an announcement Thursday. Tickets ($29.99-$39.99) go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. via banksyexhibit.com.
The Mile High City is among the first in the United States to welcome the show since its North American debut in Toronto in 2018, said Vicente Fusco, the show’s director. Since then it’s traveled to London, Melbourne, Tel Aviv and, most recently, Chicago.
The exhibition promises to display iconic pieces, such as “Flower Thrower” and “Girl with Balloon,” which producers Starvox Exhibits and GTP Exhibitions sourced from private collectors. All the works, which include canvases, screen prints and sculptures, were created between 1997 and 2008, according to a release.
The show is not authorized by or curated in collaboration with Banksy, but Fusco is quick to dismiss the irony in putting the artist’s work in a gallery.
“A lot of people don’t know, but Banksy art has been legitimately sold for 25 years or more … . This is real art, authenticated art that belongs to collectors around the world,” he said. “If you were to go around the world and find Banksys on your own, you’d have to travel 30 to 40 cities. That’s the beauty of this.”
In a review, The Chicago Tribune called “The Art of Banksy” a show “by and for his admirers, a genuine homage to an artist who surely wouldn’t want anything to do with this … the sort of thing you walk through trying to look like a cool, in-the-know, artsy person.”
“But try it without smirking or taking a selfie. That’s not possible,” writer Lauren Warnecke added. “Yes, this is an attraction. A $35 million amusement park. Maybe Banksy would like it after all.”
“The Art of Banksy” is expected remain in Denver for at least a couple of months, Fusco said.
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