This month the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) announced that the street artist Banksy had chosen Glasgow to host his first solo authorised exhibition in 14 years.
Banksy revealed that he had chosen the location as it featured his favourite piece of British art, the iconic Duke of Wellington statue with the traffic cone on his head. This motif is shown in in the promo for the event outside the venue and even on the earrings worn by the staff working at the exhibition! It's a great example of the sense of humour that is shown throughout the exhibition and Banksy's work.
Curated by Banksy himself, Cut and Run: 25 Years of Card Labour features many of his most famous works, including stencils used to create the original artworks. The title Cut and Run refers to Banksy’s method of painting as he waited for the police to inevitably show up and he had to sprint away over walls and fences to avoid being caught. The low lighting and dark walls of the GoMA show off the environment that Banksy works in best. The exhibition is a detailed look into who Banksy is with each piece revealing a part of his past or a political message he supports. The exhibit features some of his most iconic work but even for someone with little knowledge of Banksy there’s lots to take in and appreciate.
While the original stencils are incredible to see and have been used to recreate some of his work in phonebooths and bus shelters, an unexpected highlight was a section dedicated to the making of his now famous ‘Girl with Balloon’ painting that shredded after being bought at auction in London in 2018. Banksy goes into the intricacies of the self-shredding frame and how he pulled off the famous stunt.
Other high points include the first prototype for Stormzy’s Glastonbury Union Jack vest and a huge room full of replicas and models of his famous work including Dismaland and a large truck filled with stuffed animals that roamed New York while he was there for his month-long residency in 2013.
Tickets are already selling out fast as Banksy seems to have captured the imagination of Glasgow - a place with a great appreciation of street art, as displayed around the city. The show runs for 3 months until August 28th and tickets are on sale now.