With over $35m in art, this is the largest Banksy exhibit ever assembled!
The Art of Banksy, curated by Steve Lazarides, the artist's former manager, displays the largest collection of Banksy's works. Included in the collection is the famous painting known as "Girl and Balloon" and the controversial work "Laugh Now" – a witty graffiti piece that depicts a monkey with a sign hanging from his neck with the words: "Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge."
Banksy, who refrains from revealing his identity and does not appear in public, is a painter, graffiti artist and social activist, considered one of the world's top political graffiti artists.
"This is a one of a kind exhibition – you will never again have the opportunity to see so many works in one place. Once the exhibition is over, the artwork will be returned to 40 different art collectors around the world, and the chances that they will be displayed together again in the future are extremely slim,” says Steve Lazarides, curator.
“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.”
BANKSY: THE MYSTERIOUS
The artist known as Banksy prefers to conceal his real identity and remain anonymous. What we think we know about him has neither been confirmed nor denied. He is prolific as an artist, author, film-maker and social commentator. Thought to have started as a freehand graffiti artist in the early 1990’s with Bristol’s DryBreadZ (or DBZ) Crew whose work was part of the larger Bristol underground scene.
Thousands of websites, articles, academic papers and books have sprung up on the subject of Banksy. The advantage to his anonymous nature is that interpreters of his work can speak as if they have absolute knowledge, without fear of contradiction. His privacy is protected with the collaboration of those around him, but in an interview with The Guardian in 2003, he said his parents think that he is a painter and decorator.
Banksy grants very few interviews, and those few that he does do are usually done via email or on the phone. The little information that has been gathered about him has come from the handful of books he has written. After one newspaper claimed to have uncovered Banksy’s real identity, his website proclaimed, ‘I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me.’
“If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask”
Banksy’s street art can be found across the world, at least for a while, before it’s painted over, vandalized or stolen from walls to sell at auction. Indeed some auction houses are selling his murals in situ and leaving them for the buyer to find a way to remove them from the wall.
Despite the high sums commanded by his works, more often than not, the owner of the wall lays claim to the profits. So the appearance of a Banksy in a neighbourhood may be considered as an act of public service while others of course, still consider it vandalism. Banksy himself thinks that ‘Writing graffiti is about the most honest way you can be an artist. It takes no money to do it, you don’t need an education to understand it, and there’s no admission fee.’
The majority of paintings in this exhibition were originally exhibited and sold in some of Banksy’s seminal shows including ‘Turf Wars’ in East London in 2003 and ‘Barely Legal’ in Los Angeles in 2006. These inside works retained the motifs and techniques from his outdoor work, with the important difference being they were created with the intention of being viewed in the context of an exhibition.
The artist has not so far, offered any interpretation of his works. It is therefore no one else’s place to do so. They mean what ever the viewers think they mean.
213 STERLING ROAD
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
YOU'LL LOVE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!
The old Scyco building used to manufacture flags and tarps, now it houses several notable businesses. Photo by Hector Vasquez.
The Museum of Contemporary Art's new home at Sterling Road.
Henderson Brewing is one of the latest additions to Sterling, bringing a wave of new customers to the area. Photo by Hector Vasquez.
Noble Coffee occupies a corner spot at the top of Sterling Road. Photo by Jesse Milns.
The Junction Workshop lets budding enthusiasts learn how to make things out of wood. Photo by Hector Vasquez.
Inside the Drake Commissary. Photo by Hector Vasquez.
The smell of chocolate from the Nestle factory carries over from Dundas West up to the Junction Triangle. Photo by Jesse Milns.
The north part of Sterling Road is made up of a tight knit community of residents, just south of Bloor. Photo by Tanya Mok.
Signs on the side of the Nestle building remind you of all their chocolatey hits. Photo by Tanya Mok.
"This street is about to be Toronto's next big thing"
Exhibit Operating Hours: Monday - Tuesday | 11am - 7pm EST Wednesday | 11am - 8pm EST Thursday | 11am - 9pm EST Friday | 11am - 10pm EST Saturday | 9am - Midnight EST Sunday | 9am - 9pm EST
TIMED ADMISSION OR ADVANCED GENERAL ADMISSION?
Timed Admission guarantees you access to the exhibit at a specific hour. General Admission tickets have the flexibility to be used on any day at any time during exhibit hours once the Timed Admission ticket holders have entered.
Admission is hourly. On the hour Timed Ticket holders will be admitted first. After Timed Ticket holders, General Admission ticket holders will be admitted subject to capacity. After General Admission ticket holders, any same day box office ticket holders will be admitted subject to capacity.