Santiago, May 25 (EFE).- “The Art of Banksy: Without Limits,” an exhibition that pays tribute to that enigmatic, pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, began a tour of Latin America with an initial stop in Chile starting Wednesday.
More than 160 of the artist’s works, including certified originals, prints on different kinds of materials, lithographs, sculptures, murals and video installations, will be on display through July 31 at the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM) in downtown Santiago.
“The artist’s ironic images confront us as humanity,” Felipe Mella, the GAM’s executive director said, adding that hosting his work has special significance within the current global and Chilean context.
“Today, as we face a (potential) intercontinental military conflict, revisiting his work makes us question how we resolve conflicts and to what end,” Mella said.
Banksy’s humor and art “spur us to action, enable us to look at ourselves, criticize ourselves and be more aware of the socio-political crisis we’re in and how we’re coming to grips with it,” he added.
Despite opting to keep his identity secret, the approximately 40-year-old Brit is considered one of the planet’s most influential urban artists and was included in 2010 on Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
His works have sold for millions of dollars in exclusive auction houses, although the vast majority of them can be observed free of charge on the streets of major global cities.
“I want to live in a world created by art, not just decorated with it,” that native of the southern English city of Bristol was quoted as saying on one occasion.
The exhibition, which previously was on view in Istanbul, Amsterdam, Berlin, Seoul, Miami and other cities around the world and will soon be on display in the Latin American cities of Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota and Mexico City, is not authorized by Banksy.
But GAM says Pest Control, the official legal guardian for Banksy, recognizes and confirms the authenticity of the content.
The exhibit features original works by Banksy, including a mat with the word “Welcome” hand-stitched on it using fabric from migrant life jackets abandoned on Mediterranean beaches.
Also on display are versions of his mural “Escape,” which originally appeared on the side of a prison in England that once housed Oscar Wilde; and of the stencil graffiti work “Pulp Fiction,” which shows characters in Quentin Tarantino’s famed film with their guns replaced by bananas.
Other highlights include a section dedicated to Banksy’s migrant advocacy, a reproduction of a London tube station that immerses visitors in his street art and a short documentary film on his life and work. EFE