Urban Art Invades the Andipa Gallery with Major New Exhibition
A two man exhibition of Banksy and War Boutique presents an exciting opportunity to see original works by two well known mavericks of urban art. The established Banksy and the popular, emerging War Boutique, a young artist who is just breaking onto the international stage, complement each other well. Banksy is one of the leading figures in this attention grabbing genre of visual arts. Continuing his high profile assault at the Andipa gallery, which has compiled an interesting exhibition from their already impressive gallery collection of his work. As we already know, Banksy has brought with him an explosion in international demand for his work. In response to Andipa’s recent successful exhibition in Gstaad, Switzerland the show now focuses on London. Exhibitions of Banksy’s work have attracted the highest number of attendees to a gallery show to date, from Geneva, Zurich and beyond, confirming Banksy’s internationally acclaimed position. The market for urban art is continuing to expand and integrate into the mainstream. Works by urban artists are now beginning to be included in the collections of the most respected museums and public galleries worldwide, including MOCA (LA) who have mounted the first major survey of street art to be shown in the US. Banksy is not currently represented by any single gallery. The works on show in this exhibition are from the collection of Andipa Gallery as mentioned.
War Boutique, uses textiles, bullet proof ceramics, shells and bomb blankets as the conduit to express his ideas, the artist “symbolically transforms instruments of war and destruction into constructive items embodying creativity, peace and critical social commentary.” Society for Contemporary Craft. WB, has provided his wearable art for photo-shoots with the late Alexander McQueen CBE as well as collaborating with the royal and military tailor, Gieves & Hawkes. He has also provided artworks for some of the most renowned contemporary artists including Banksy for his controversial Banksy Versus Bristol Museum show and YBA Sarah Lucas. Working for a body armour company on obtaining his degree in Textiles and Fashion Design, he has designed armour and uniforms from fabrics specially formulated for military use for the British, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Algerian armies, as well as the Metropolitan Police, Italian Carabinieri and Mexico City Police. The arresting symbolic potential of these textiles leading him to requisition and recycle uniforms, military and ballistic materials and use them in his art, to alert us to the creeping militarisation of our society, encourage us to work towards peace and remind us of our duty to realise this. His Peace Pods have hung from trees and rafters in Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum and Regent’s Park. They are places of respite for people to enter and feel and make peace. Designed so that its essential for the individuals inside to cooperate peacefully to avoid the destabilisation of the pod these works provoke us to question the necessity of war and to explore ways of experiencing peace.Although the artist retains full anonymity, Banksy is believed to have been born in Bristol in 1974. Taking inspiration from the Bristol Underground Scene, the artist claims that his distinctive style, which combines stencil and graffiti writing, developed out of a need to quickly create large-scale works.
Banksy’s work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier.
In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Most recently the artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop.
Works by the artist are represented in “Art In The Streets” at The Museum of Modern Art (MOCA), the first major survey of street art to be shown in the US. Banksy in a gesture of unheard of generosity, in the USA is footing the bill for admission to L.A. MOCA’s blockbuster “Art in the Streets” tickets to the exhibition which includes work by Banksy, Shepherd Fairey, and dozens of other prominent street artists usually costs $10, but thanks to what MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch called an “unprecedented” donation, it will be free every Monday this summer.
The Exhibition Banksy/ War Boutique runs until 9 July Visit The Exhibition