Arts & Entertainment

Banksy, genius or vandal, asks Brussels immersive exhibition

By Jorge Ocaña

Brussels, Jun 10 (EFE).- Banksy, genius or vandal? The question thrown at visitors by the new immersive exhibition on the urban artist inaugurated Thursday in Brussels, which will guide its audience through an interactive expo to understand his craft.

Multimedia elements are the major novelty of the exhibition, juggling with music, images, and video and infused with an aura of rebellion and mystery, two defining characteristics of the famous graffiti artist, according to the exhibit’s curator Alexander Nachkebiya.

“Usually people coming to the exhibition have no idea about street art. They are people coming to see artworks, but we try to give them the sensations of urban art with the multimedia part right from the start,” said Nachkebiya, standing by Banksy’s Fallen Angel, his favourite of the bunch.

The iconic graffiti is the exhibition’s crown jewel and second time ever to be displayed to the public, after a first appearance in the Círculo de Bellas Artes of Madrid.

Over 70 authentic works borrowed from private collections from across the world are showcased at the Grand Place, to delve into the artist’s mind and his biting criticism of consumerism and capitalism.

The exhibit finds footing between chronologically and thematically based narratives, kicking off with an urban atmosphere and a photography series by Steve Lazarides, a friend of the artist, documenting a still inexperienced young Banksy already concealing his identity, conceding no information except his blond hair.

The display follows the artist’s evolution, from graffiti virtually unknown by the general public, to his most celebrated pieces after his jump to fame, such as his Girl with Balloon or The Flower Thrower.

The room hosting the works itself plays an essential role in the urban immersion sought by the organizers, with brownish and grey walls taking visitors to the streets, Banksy’s go-to canvas throughout his career.

The desire to transmit those sensations is such that a piece of brick wall is displayed showing one of the tagger’s symbols, a rat.

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