Art Student Mimics Banksy Stunt

Polish art student makes a bid for the big time by hanging his own work in national gallery a la Banksy

A Polish Art student has copied Banksy in hanging one of his own works in the National Museum of Poland, mirroring Banksy’s 2005 stunt at several galleries in New York. When interviewed, Andrzej Sobiepan admitted taking inspiration from the street artist and explained his motivation – that he could not ‘wait 30 or 40 years’ for his work to be exhibited by a gallery, and that he believed galleries should give more exhibition space to young artists: ‘I want to benefit from them (galleries) in the here and now’ Unbelievably, the mini portrait was on display for three days before it was noticed. What’s more, it is now to be hung in the museum’s cafe!

The Director of the museum in Wroclaw, Mariusz Hermansdorfer, was admirably able to see this as a ‘witty artistic happening’, rather than as a criminal act. ‘It has shown that the young generation of artists, unlike their predecessors, wants to see their works in museums’, he added.

The stunt occurred on December 10 2011, when Sobiepan hung the piece in a room with contemporary Polish art when a guard at the museum was looking the other way. The whole incident was film on a camera phone. The multimedia piece, made from swine leather and depicting a drooping acacia leaf, will be auctioned off at a charity sale this Sunday.

Banksy is a UK-based graffiti artist who is famed internationally for his signature stencil street art style, and the mystery surrounding his true identity. He began in Bristol, his home city, and now his art can be seen on buildings all around the world. Banksy’s works are often humorous and based on current issues. Some of his works have sold for tens of thousands of pounds. And his artwork sales have attracted Hollywood celebrities too – Christina Aguilera, for example, bought an original of Queen Victoria as a lesbian and two prints for £25,000.

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