Banksy’s Work To Be Shown In The Middle East For The First Time
After Banksy showed in Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, works from the famed British street artist – whose true identity still remains unknown – will be on display starting 21 February until 20 April at the King Abdullah Financial Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Consisting of around 70 pieces, it’s the first time that Banksy’s art – which is notorious for its politically charged subject matter – will be on show in the region. The exhibition is not authorised by the artist himself, but instead encompasses artworks curated from private collections worldwide.
“‘The Art of Banksy’ is meant to celebrate Banksy’s art and drive his message of hope and humanity to the world,” said organisers.
Some of Banksy’s most well-known works are expected to be presented and include Girl with Balloon, Pulp Fiction, Flower Thrower, Monkey Queen and Soup Can.
Despite the artist’s own philosophy of making his work more accessible by displaying it in public spaces, tickets for the show will have to be purchased.
With his trademark stencilling technique, the British artist’s satirical pieces that focus on political and social issues have been seen worldwide – on city streets, walls and bridges – since the early ’90s. Banksy’s documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011.
This past Valentine’s Day, a painting by Banksy of a young girl firing a slingshot of real red flowers and leaves emerged on the side of a building in the English city of Bristol, but was quickly defaced a few days later.
In 2019, Banksy’s Devolved Parliament (2009) painting depicting UK Members of Parliament as chimpanzees in the House of Commons, sold at Sotheby’s in London for £9.9 million, making it a record price for a Banksy artwork.
The year before that – also in an auction at Sotheby’s in London – a version of Banksy’s Balloon Girl sold for £1.4 million. However, seconds after the gavel dropped, a hidden alarm went off inside the picture frame, with the canvas passing through a self-contained shredder. Banksy took to Instagram with a picture of the self-destructing painting, with a brilliant caption.
The artwork has since earned a new name: Love is in the Bin and is estimated to have doubled in worth.