Banksy is one of the most well-known and controversial figures in the world of street art. His thought-provoking pieces have developed their own fan bases around the world. He has made a name for himself in the world of art—just not his real name.
Banksy is a street art and graffiti artist based in the UK who has gained popularity and notoriety since the early 2000s. He originally created freehand designs, but switched to those that incorporate stencils to increase the speed and recognizability of his works. The subjects of his art are often controversial as they are inspired by themes such as anti-war, anti-consumerism and existentialism.
Many have tried to uncover who is behind all exhibitions and graffiti, but Banksy has kept his anonymity by refusing interviews and primarily using stencil art. When asked about why keeping his identity was important, he replied by saying that graffiti is illegal. Banksy is holding an exhibition called Genius or Vandal? in both Tokyo and Sapporo. Here is what you need to know.
The exhibition has finally made its way to Japan. Previously, it had been enjoyed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Madrid, Lisbon, and Hong Kong. The collection of Banksy originals, 3D objects, and illustrations come to a total of more than 70 pieces. Some of the works you may have seen before are THROWER and GIRL WITH BALLOON, which focus on themes such as war, peace, and hope.
The Tokyo show is being held until March 8 at WITH HARAJUKU HALL, and is only available for viewing on weekdays. You will want to purchase your tickets online as you can get them for much cheaper. Weekday tickets range from ¥1,200 to ¥1,800 depending on your age, but prices drop to between ¥1,000 and ¥1,500 after 5pm. Admission is free for any children under five years old. If you must buy tickets at the venue, prices will go up and will also be subject to availability.
A free audio guide is also available for download on the website that you can use as you explore the exhibition. Simply scan the QR code using your smartphone, and you will have access.
Tokyo is a city that loves art, and with a big name such as Banksy, this is one exhibition that you should not miss. Banksy’s works are often short-lived because they are pieces of street art that are eventually painted over or even taken down by the artist himself, so this is a great opportunity to see these ephemeral pieces in a gallery setting.