What’s the deal with the ‘Banksyland’ exhibit coming to Tampa being hyped on social media?
We know it’s not authorized by the pseudonymous street artist Banksy — the exhibit’s website is labeled “Banksy: Unauthorized. Uncensored. No mask.”
And special exhibitions like this one go to Banksy’s website:
I see a new Banksy exhibition has just opened, is it authorized?
No. Banksy has NOTHING to do with any of the current or recent exhibitions and they bear no resemblance to a genuine Banksy exhibition. It might be crap, so 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 unknown is amazing.
Despite criticism of the art establishment, Banksy has been embraced by it. In 2018, his painting “Balloon Girl” partially self-destructed moments 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 for $25.4 million last year.
However, Banksy maintains a tight reign on the sale and certification of his works, as there are many fakes. Works he has left on the streets are often taken.
The “Banksyland” website provides only a brief description of the show, which is set to take place in Tampa November 18-20: “”Banksyland” is an international touring exhibition that immerses audiences in the works of the world’s most notorious and elusive artist : BANKSY .The first exhibition in Tampa features more than 80 pieces and installations, including original and studio works, salvaged street art, and immersive never-before-seen installations in a secret location in downtown Tampa (ticket holders will receive the event location 1-2 weeks before the event opens).
Why the location is secret is a burning question. For $29 (or $59 for a VIP experience, which includes all-day access, an audio tour, and a limited-edition hand-held exhibition poster), people will want to know where they’re going.
The exhibition tour debuted in Portland, Oregon in May. Elle Miller, curator of “Banksyland,” told Oregon ArtsWatch at the time that she had not secured locations in the remaining cities, which may shed light on why the locations remain “secret.”
A review of the Austin, Texas-based stand in Sightlines, an independent online arts and culture magazine, is headlined: “‘Banksyland’ capitalizes on Banksy’s anti-capitalist message.” The author writes that it “positively sighs with irony.”
The Banksyland website says the exhibition is produced by One Thousand Ways, an “international experiential arts company specializing in innovative immersive events”.
The Seattle Times reported in May about two unauthorized Banksy exhibitions making the rounds, including “Banksyland.” He also said that Miller is the creator of One Thousand Ways, which was founded to launch the “Banksyland” show.
Planning your weekend?
Sign up for our free Top 5 Things newsletter
We’ll provide ideas every Thursday for getting out, staying home or spending time outdoors.
You are all registered!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s start.
Explore all your options
Miller told The Seattle Times that she originally conceived of One Thousand Ways as a nonprofit, with the idea of donating a portion of the proceeds to arts organizations. It ended up being an LLC.
At the time, on the “Banksyland” site, visitors could support the organization Americans for the Arts — whose logo was displayed there — by adding an extra $5 to their ticket purchases.
However, a spokesperson for Americans for the Arts told The Seattle Times that the organization was not affiliated with “Banksyland.” Miller acknowledged that, but said she still intended 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 does it suggest donating to other organizations.
An interview request emailed to the Banksyland website went unanswered.