The Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal? is closed but don’t fret because the captivating Banksy: Building Castles in the Sky Exhibition is now open in NYC.
Before it closed, we got to go behind the scenes of one of the most famous (but enigmatic) street artists of our time at Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?, and were completely amazed by how many (over 80, to be exact!) genuine Banksy works we got to witness in person.
Don’t worry if you missed it, there is a new exhibit in town, Banksy: Building Castles in the Sky Exhibition. This brand new exhibition is a private collection of the dynamic artist’s original and verified pieces. The new event is located at the former International Center of Photography Museum at 250 Bowery.
Although, Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal? has closed, it used to be right in the center of Manhattan, at the former Urban Outfitters on 526 6th Ave, guiding visitors through numerous sculptures, videos, photos, original works and limited edition screen prints.
The multi-sensory experience gave guests an “unprecedented immersion” into the artist’s perspective, looking at some of his most controversial pieces along with those belonging to international private collectors. Many people have been able to take in Banksy’s works in photos or maybe if they’re lucky on the street (have you seen the one on the Upper West Side?), but never before had we been able to view them all in one setting.
Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal? was truly incredible!
Throughout the two floors of the exhibit, you could see Banksy’s work in various forms — from wall cut-outs of his legendary graffiti to his lesser-known 3-D sculptural creations.
And the entire space was immersed in Banksy style — from his signature use of red and black (there’s even a massive bright red feature wall perfect for photo ops, see us below!) to his stencil format imitated with quotes from the artist himself across the walls.
The 80+ pieces were genuine and authenticated, shared with the public from private collections. We couldn’t believe we got to see iconic works like “Balloon Girl,” “Love is in the Air,” the “Happy Choppers” series, “Flying Copper,” and “Devolved Parliament” in person!
On the first floor, along with the art displays, you could take in a visually mesmerizing homage to his work in the form of high-tech video-mapping, so his inspirations and creations bend and weave all around you in 360 degrees. This was one of our favorite parts!
Besides just taking in the pieces, you also learned more about Banksy as a person and as an artist (although of course his identity still remains a complete mystery). Nearly all of his work makes some sort of social commentary, and you’d get insights into what has inspired his most iconic pieces — from the meaning behind the depictions of animals like monkeys and rats in his work, to his humanitarian projects like supporting refugees.
It also explored his more larger scale guerrilla art projects, from his “Dismaland” pop-up at an English seaside resort to the “Walled Off Hotel” over looking the Bethlehem Wall in Palestine.
The experience ended with a mesmerizing VR experience that will transport you to streets around the world, letting you see Banksy’s work “in person” and even come to life in whimsical animations. We couldn’t believe how real it felt!
This incredible exhibit has already toured over 15 cities around the world to rave reviews, and now we can add NYC to that list. We highly recommend visiting this incredible NYC exhibition!
Though the utterly enthralling Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal? is over, don’t miss one of NYC’s must-visit events Banksy: Building Castles in the Sky going on now!
Also published on Medium.