On Wednesday, June 13, Toronto welcomes the North American Premiere of “The Art of Banksy”, an acclaimed showcase featuring 80 original works associated with, arguably, the most intriguing and talked-about artist in modern history. “The Art of Banksy” has already generated excitement in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Auckland. Now Toronto, having beat out both Athens and Stockholm, steps up to host this spectacular exhibit.
Banksy, whose identity is the art world’s biggest secret, is an enigmatic artist and world-recognized political activist. His graffiti-influenced stencil technique, often combined with anti-establishment slogans, is immediately recognizable and never fails to generate immediate attention. Banksy’s various works, which in addition to paintings, also include sculptures and special displays, are seen on city walls, bridges and streets throughout the world.
“The Art of Banksy”, curated by Steve Lazarides, the artist’s former agent, displays the world’s largest collection of Banksy’s works. Included in the exhibition are the iconic “Balloon Girl”, ranked in 2017 as “The United Kingdom’s number one favourite artwork”, “Flag Wall”, an urbanized take on the famous picture of soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima, “Laugh Now”, a witty piece depicting a foreboding message, and many other pieces, no less compelling and equally thought-provoking.
“This is a one-of-a-kind exhibition. You will never again have the opportunity to see this many of Banksy’s works in one place. Once the exhibition is over, the artwork will be returned to art collectors around the world, and the chances that they will be displayed together again in the future are extremely slim,” says Steve Lazarides.
The Toronto exhibition will be mounted in a raw space at 213 Sterling Road (Lansdowne Metro stop), an area described by BlogTO as “Toronto’s next big thing” and “a neighbourhood for art – contemporary art,” with neighbouring businesses including the new location for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Anansi Press, Henderson Brewing and Drake Commissary. This prestigious exhibition of originals – all privately owned by collectors – offers a rare opportunity for Toronto to enter Banksy’s world.
“Starvox Exhibits is pleased to bring to Toronto, the North American Premiere of “The Art of Banksy”. I am proud to be able to have a collection of this calibre as the first exhibit under our new business division and in association with Live Nation,” says Corey Ross, President & CEO, Starvox Exhibits.
“Toronto, with its thriving visual arts scene is for us, the perfect city to premiere “The Art of Banksy” in North America,” says Michel Boersma, Senior Vice President Family Entertainment & Theatre, Live Nation. “Together with Steve Lazarides, we have been able to assemble the largest collection of Banksy art ever exhibited, which is fitting for a world-class city like Toronto.”
Bell Media is the official media sponsor of “The Art of Banksy” exhibition.