culture

Banksy in Budapest – enter through the gift shop

Writers

  • Peterjon Cresswell

2/11/2020 9:48 AM

Being exhibited for the first time in Budapest, works by legendary UK street artist Banksy currently fill a large upstairs space at the back of a courtyard deep in the Jewish Quarter. Collated by former cohort Steve Lazarides, some 70 canvases and screen prints mainly date to the early 2000s, before Banksy achieved global fame. This unauthorised exhibition, The Art of Banksy, adds its own layers of irony – admission prices are steep and here you enter through the gift shop.

Banksy, the anonymous street artist and political agitator who emerged from the Bristol underground music scene, isn’t really an exhibition kinda guy. In the early days, when then manager Steve Lazarides sold canvases from the back of his car, Banksy had shows in London and Los Angeles. Since then, unless you happened to be passing a wall in Bethlehem or Dover, you could only follow the extraordinary rise of this artist provocateur through the Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (on view here), a pop-up boutique near Central Park, the faux theme park Dismaland in Somerset, and sundry random short-lived projects across the globe.

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