Museum"GENIUS OR VANDAL?" Unauthorised Exhibition of artworks by BANKSY

Museum info

About the museum

Banksy is one of the best-known and most controversial artists on the contemporary
scene. He has been shrouded in mystery from the start and, by either choice or
necessity, has perpetuated this to the point of becoming a modern mythical figure.
Banksy is ambiguous, yet deeply rooted in urban reality, speaking to worldwide
problems, hypocrisies, and current events with a language that is both simple and
ironic. He continually invites and challenges us to reflect on emergent issues and
address them head on. The subjects Banksy features via his provocatively irreverent
and satirical messaging include: politics, culture, ethics, and war.
Banksy always portrays a set of recurring characters, such as monkeys, rats,
policemen, and members of the royal family – all of which he represents using the
stencil technique. Banksy initially adopted this method as a way of acting quickly to
avoid being caught by the police. Over time, this technique has also enabled him to
put forth messages that are impactful yet simple and immediately recognizable –
allowing, in turn, for countless reproductions of his iconic works.
Banksy’s visual protests (which have reached a vast and diverse audience) have
turned him into one of the world's better-known artists and one of the preferred
creators of younger generations. If art is a synthesis of form and content, for Banksy,
what really counts is the latter; his creations are messages above and beyond simply
aesthetic art. As explained by street artist Shepard Fairey: “His works are full of
metaphors that transcend language barriers. The images are entertaining and witty,
and yet so simple and accessible: even six-year old children who have no concept of
cultural conflict, have no problem seeing that there is something not quite right
when they see the Mona Lisa with a rocket launcher.”
Banksy’s art is derived from the so-called “writers” who dominated New York City’s
1970s street art scene. These “writers”, then known as graffiti artists, came out of
the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Harlem, the Bronx’s Puerto
Rican community, and a small Italian hamlet in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. These
youths worked together in groups and set-up “schools”, which were clearly an
artistic derivation of the 1950s street gangs.
The schools strived to standardize their individual styles as a way of indicating
belonging amongst their respective members and establishing group identity. Graffiti
was historically a tough art, always requiring the creator to work against powerful
opponents like pop culture, societal norms, environmental elements, and the law.

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  • Rachel McKagan

    5 out of 5 rating 03-16-2022

    Amazing exhibit!! So well planned and executed… and the audio accompaniment was done quite well! Be sure to charge your phone battery before you go!!

  • Traveler

    5 out of 5 rating 01-31-2022

    Bring headphone!!! Audiotour adds so much more to the experience.

  • Brenda W.

    5 out of 5 rating 12-28-2021

    Being honest I can tell you that I have seen BANKSY work on the internet but knew nothing about him. I am fascinated by his work specifically learning the history behind some of his work. Some of his work is a little dark; however he calls attention to what it needs to call attention to.

  • Ashley

    5 out of 5 rating 10-04-2021

    The Banksy Exhibit Genius or Vandal is a fitting show following the chaos of the pandemic. Great way to engage in political subculture and activism.

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