The UK street artist Banksy has just opened his first official exhibition in almost 15 years. Titled Cut & Run: 25 Years Card Labour, the show is set to run until the 18th August, 2023 at the Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).
While Banksy has been the subject of unauthorized exhibitions over the past decade, “Cut & Run” marks his first official showcase since the solo exhibition “Banksy versus Bristol Museum” in 2009.
The focus of Cut & Run are Banksy’s stencils, which are the templates he uses to create his spray-painted imagery. I do wonder how interesting these artifacts would be for Banksy fans, who might prefer to see the artworks that the stencils produced rather than the stencils themselves (a sentiment echoed by the artist as you will see). However, the stencils will be accompanied by a more traditional Banksy artworks, including a version of the painting “Basquiat being stop and searched” (2017), similar to the one displayed outside London’s Barbican Gallery during a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition. A likely highlight of the exhibition will be a model demonstrating how Banksy embedded a shredder into the frame of one of his artworks, which famously was triggered live during a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2018.
In a statement on the exhibitions website, Banksy expressed his decision to exhibit the stencils, saying, “I’ve kept these hidden away for years, concerned that they could be used against me for criminal damage. But that moment seems to have passed, so now I’m presenting them in a gallery as works of art. I’m not sure which is the greater crime.”
What will be interesting is how the “Cut & Run” exhibition will impact the value and desirability of his artworks in the investment market. Collectors and art enthusiasts alike will undoubtedly be watching closely as a new type of Banksy work (the stencils) potentially enter the market.
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