On Thursday evening we were fortunate enough to attend the opening night of the exhibition ‘IT BEGAN ON THE WALLS’ a retrospective of Banksy’s career, showcasing a collection of predominantly rare prints and several canvas works.
In the Street Art world and popular culture as a whole Banksy is someone who needs no introduction, an artist, whose identity remains unknown, and whose works and status many adore and many loathe, either way you cut it no other Street Artist has been responsible for the rising popularity of Street Art in the last fifteen or so years. His distinctive stencil works focus on dark humour and satirical representations of social and political themes and in the process he has placed his works all over the world now, with several of his public works having now become commodities, resulting with the adorning walls being removed from buildings and sold for £1 million+ prices. Banksy’s art is now very much big-business.
The exhibition features some twenty-four works from the artist and offers some rare editions and even one-off editions of works. Some of his most iconic works such as ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Bomb Hugger’ and ‘Choose Your Weapon’ are represented and plenty more to be enjoyed. As the focus of the exhibition being a retrospective show it offered a good number of pieces to gaze upon all in one space and also offering some interesting insight into the developing intricacy and layering of Banksy’s stencil works through his career as well as many dry humorous and thought-provoking pieces.
‘Donut Police’ – Print
‘Turf Wars’ – 2003 – Print
‘I Fought The Law’ – 2004 – Print
‘Rude Copper’ – 2002 – Print – This was Banksy’s first official release.
‘No Ball Games’ – 2009 – Print
Banksy printed £1 million worth of notes, which see the Queen’s portrait replace with that of Princess Diana’s and then proceeded to release them to crowds at the Notting Hill Carnival and Reading Festival in 2004.
‘Choose Your Weapon’ – Print
This piece can still be seen on the streets of London, in The Grange, Camberwell.
‘Mosquito’ – 2003 – Canvas.
‘Bomb Hugger’ – canvas – This is a one off original.
Gentleman Rat – Canvas.
‘Pulp Fiction’ – 2004 – Print
‘Grannies’ – 2006 – – Print – This was the only Banksy print released with a hand-torn deckled edge.
‘Very Little Helps’ – 2008 – Print
‘Bomb Hugger (Bomb Love)’ – 2003 – Print
‘Love Rat’ – 2004 – Print – This was the first of Banksy’s most iconic theme, the rat, to make into print form.
‘CND Soldiers’ – 2005 – Print