Banksy: the sample that breaks records and generates a special magnetism

Banksy: the sample that breaks records and generates a special magnetism

The girl with the balloon is one of the many iconic images that the British artist / web managed to patent

More than 50,000 people have already visited the “Banksy Genius or Vandal?” exhibition, dedicated to the mysterious and controversial British street art artist, which has been presented at the Frers de La Rural Pavilion since last August and will run until December 14.

The exhibition, declared of Cultural Interest by the Ministry of Culture of the Nation, proposes a labyrinthine journey through 70 original works ceded exclusively by international private collections with their certificate of authenticity (COA), executed with different techniques such as oil or acrylic on canvas, spray on canvas and wood, limited edition screen prints, stencils on metal or concrete, sculptures, installations, videos and photographs, as well as including a virtual reality (VR) experience.

The proposal invites you to peek into the world of the controversial and anonymous artist, who sells works for millions and then destroys them live, at the exact moment of the auction, or who turns an abandoned mega park into a gloomy Disney and charges admission, or who savagely criticizes consumerism to later market merchandising. The exhibition does not have the authorization of the graffiti artist, so it bears the “Unofficial” stamp, although the works on display are all originals certified by the artist himself.

“This is not an opportunity for you to take a picture”, reads one of the stencils of this graffiti artist, now printed in one of the rooms of the mega exhibition in La Rural, where some of his most famous works appear in small format that First they were illegally painted: the girl with the balloon, the flower thrower, the protagonists of Pulp Fiction holding bananas instead of weapons, the Napalm girl (historical photo) in a collage that shows her accompanied by Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald.

His famous graffiti “Girl with a balloon”, which he first printed 20 years ago in a shop window in Shoreditch (London), is the favorite work of art of the British, chosen as number one in the United Kingdom, according to a survey.

The artist named by Times magazine as one of the 100 most influential people, who when he was nominated for the Oscars for his documentary “Exit through the gift shop” asked to attend the ceremony in a costume (they told him no), has “vandalized” streets and walls around the world, without authorization, so he has little to say about exhibitions that are carried out at his expense, or that of his collectors. By the way, they also wanted to remain anonymous.

The exhibition recreates exactly the same as that fragment of his workshop where, covering his face, he gave statements for the documentary (“The exit is through the gift shop”), it includes a global map with all his murals made in the most varied cities of the world (which can also be visited with Street View on the Google Arts & Culture platform) and there is even an immersive room, set to music, with his favorite animal, rats.


Another of the phrases that accompanies the exhibition in Buenos Aires is another famous Banksy stencil: “copyrights are for losers”, reads the graffiti attributed to the anonymous and elusive hero, urban legend, admired by the big stars and also by the art market.

The cutout lettering is near the video that goes over in detail how Banksy decided to destroy his own work during a live auction: Girl with a Balloon sold for $1.4 million and just after the hammer came down, a mounted shredder was automatically activated. in a gilt frame. As if this weren’t enough, the shredder got stuck halfway and the heart-shaped balloon was left intact.

Is Banksy the iconic artist of the 21st century? It could well be, not only because of his murals with a forceful social message, but also because the greatest prankster in the art world learned to play with the market’s own rules, and to subvert them.

The exhibition also has a free audio guide for smartphones, available in Spanish and English, which enriches the visitor’s experience by providing extensive information on the artist and on each of the works on display.

“Banksy is an artist who is trolling us all the time,” Francisco González, head of the exhibition, says of the exhibition, alluding to the audacious operation that the British artist performs time and time again, whether it is to permanently mock someone, boycott something, subvert the senses, such as selling works for millions and destroying them live, at the exact moment of the auction, or turning an abandoned mega park into a gloomy Disney and charging admission, or savagely criticizing consumerism and then selling merchandising .

Is Banksy an anti-establishment artist? “Well, it’s part of his ongoing contradiction. The guy criticizes consumption but at the same time creates stores to buy merchandising; those royalties in turn go to the refugees. Yes, he generates a whole system of money movement, in addition to the fact that he sells his works for millions. His hallmark is contradiction, it is to dislodge you and make noise all the time, ”details González, an assembly consultant for the exhibition that has already been seen in numerous cities around the world.

“Banksy is not just a street artist, but he can be transferred to a museum perfectly with his studio versions, so to speak,” explains González.

The sample, as said, can be visited until December 14 at La Rural, Buenos Aires Fairgrounds, Frers Pavilion, access by Avenida Santa Fe 4363.

Leave a Comment