Mystery, surprise and controversy follow the England-based street artist Banksy wherever he goes. And if all goes according to plan, the next big exhibition will be in Madrid on December 6, coinciding with a national holiday to observe Constitution Day.
Little is known other than that 70 works belonging to international collectors will be on display at the Ifema grounds in Madrid as part of an exhibition called Banksy, Genius or vandal. As was to be expected, the exhibition has not been authorized by the artist.
Many of the collectors have agreed to loan their works on the condition that they can sell them if they receive an attractive offer. Organizers of the event say this is a way of testing the market.
Everyone will be watching to see whether Banksy pulls one of his famous stunts at the Madrid event. His last prank took place on October 10 in London during an auction at Sotheby’s of his work, Girl with Balloon. Once the work was sold, the canvas began to pass through a hidden shredder in the frame. Despite this, the the European collector who had just bought the iconic image agreed to pay €1.8 million for the remains of the work, which Banksy renamed Love is in the Bin.
Another auction of his work on October 24 in Paris took place without incident, and his work sold for relatively modest amounts, around €127,000.
Despite his fame and fortune, little is known about Banksy. Some say he was born in Bristol in England around 1975. His street murals can be seen in some of the least expected corners of the world. With simple images, the artist tackles issues like racism, war and politics. His actions have been interpreted as both a form of protest and a marketing ruse.
English version by Melissa Kitson.