A Review of the Banksy Exhibition in Covent Garden

A girl holds a red balloon shaped like a heart.

‘The Girl and Balloon’ by Banksy

Banksy is a well-known British graffiti artist whose identity remains a mystery. During the 1990s, his artworks began appearing in trains and on walls around his hometown of Bristol.

Banksy’s recognisable artworks captured global attention when they began to appear beyond the UK, in countries like Australia, France, Italy, Spain and the United States. His art often highlights political issues and makes statements about the world he sees around him. Banksy’s work is not meant to be comfortable viewing or classically beautiful. Instead, it is intended to be thought-provoking, jarring and darkly humorous.

The Art of Banksy, which can be found in Covent Garden through May 2022, is the largest showcase of Banksy’s artworks. It presents over 70 pieces in a warehouse. The travelling collection is privately owned, and thousands of visitors have gone to see the prints, sculptures, schedule, unique works and limited-edition pieces that are found at the exhibit. The first section is a timeline detailing the artist’s early work. Once you’ve passed this section, the space opens up and dozens of Banksy’s artworks are on display, allowing you to walk and explore the artworks individually.

‘The Girl and Balloon’ was one of my favourite pieces at the exhibit and was one that caused a global sensation in the art world in 2018. The original painting sold for $1.4 million during an auction, before it self-destructed half of itself shortly after the sale was finalised, as Banksy had planted a shredder within the artwork.

Provocative quotes made by the artist himself over the years are displayed on the walls of the exhibit between the pieces and the punk and rock music played over the speakers in the halls counters the traditional setting of an exhibit.

One of my personal highlights was reading about his collaborations with famous artists and seeing his album covers, particularly the parody he made of Paris Hilton’s album cover and remixed CDs.

Another personal highlight was a couple of his political pieces, which are relevant, even at a time like today, considering the current ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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If you’re someone who is interested in street art, I would definitely recommend visiting the Art of Banksy, as it’s a truly special and wonderful experience!

 

Below are some of my favourite pieces that can be found at the exhibition!