What’s up with the “Banksyland” exhibit coming to Tampa being promoted on social media?
We know it was not authorized by pseudonymous street artist Banksy – the exhibition’s website has the tagline ‘Banksy: Unauthorised. Uncensored. Exposed.”
And exhibitions specifically like this one are addressed on Banksy’s website:
I see that a new exhibition of Banksy’s work has just opened, is it approved?
nope Banksy has NOTHING to do with any of the current or recent shows and they are nothing like a real Banksy show. They might be crap so please don’t come to us for a refund.
Based in England, Banksy’s anti-authority street art has become a global phenomenon. Banksy started out as a graffiti artist and is also an activist and filmmaker. That the artist managed to keep his identity a secret is amazing.
Despite criticism of the art world, Banksy was accepted by him. In 2018, his painting Girl with Balloon partially shredded itself after it sold for $1.4 million at auction at Sotheby’s. Ironically, this work, titled “Love Is in the Bin,” was resold by the auction house last year for a whopping $25.4 million.
But Banksy keeps a tight grip on the sale and authentication of his works, as there are many fakes. Works he left on the street are often taken away.
The Banksyland website provides only a brief description of the show, which will be held in Tampa November 18-20: “Banksyland” is an international touring exhibition that immerses audiences in the works of the most notorious and elusive artist the world : BANKSY. The first-ever exhibition in Tampa features more than 80 pieces and installations; including original and studio works, salvaged street art, and never-before-seen immersive installations in a secret downtown Tampa location (ticket holders will receive venue 1-2 weeks prior to event start).
Why the place is a secret is a burning question. For $29 (or $59 for a VIP experience that includes all-day access, an audio tour, and a limited-edition hand-screened exhibit poster), people will want to know where they’re going.
The exhibition tour began in May in Portland, Oregon. Banksyland curator Elle Miller told online publication Oregon ArtsWatch at the time that she hadn’t secured venues in the remaining cities, which may shed some light on why the locations are being kept “secret.”
A review of the Austin, Texas stop in Sightlines, an independent online arts and culture magazine, is headlined, “‘Banksyland’ capitalizes on Banksy’s anti-capitalist message.” The author writes that it “gasps with irony.”
According to the Banksyland website, the exhibition will be produced by One Thousand Ways, an “international experimental arts company specializing in innovative immersive events.”
The Seattle Times reported in May on two unauthorized Banksy exhibits making the rounds, including Banksyland. It was also said that Miller is the creator of One Thousand Ways, which was formed to launch the show Banksyland.
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Miller told the Seattle Times that she originally conceived One Thousand Ways as a nonprofit with the idea of donating a portion of the proceeds to arts organizations. It eventually became an LLC.
Around this time, visitors to the Banksyland website could support Americans for the Arts—whose logo was featured there—by adding an additional $5 to their ticket purchases.
But a spokesman for Americans for the Arts told the Seattle Times that the organization had no connection with Banksyland. Miller acknowledged this but said she still intends to donate the money to the group and local arts organizations.
Now, the Americans for the Arts logo does not appear on the Banksyland website, nor is there any suggestion to donate to other organizations.
An interview request emailed to the Banksyland website went unanswered.