It may sound like an unsuitable coupling but Sotheby’s S|2 is to present the first, unauthorised, retrospective exhibition of works by the internationally renowned street artist Banksy. The exhibition is curated by the gallerist Steve Lazarides. Heralded as the “Entrepreneur of the Urban Art Scene”, Steve Lazarides was Banksy’s agent from the outset of his career until 2008. The forthcoming selling exhibition features works from that period – sculptures, paintings and prints – which Lazarides considers seminal to the rise of Banksy during the time that they worked together. Included are signature early works such as Avon and Somerset Constabulary, an image famous from the 2000 Bristol Severnshed show, right up to the politically charged Guantanamo Bay ‘Crude Oil’ painting from Banksy’s Los Angeles exhibition Barely Legal.
S|2 is Sotheby’s Contemporary art gallery, offering year-round exhibition programming and bespoke private sales. With dedicated gallery space in New York, London and Hong Kong, S|2 presents selling exhibitions exploring the work of celebrated artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, as well as shows curated by influential art world figures like Vito Schnabel. In addition to gallery programming, the S|2 team facilitates private acquisitions and sales around the world. Learn more at www.sothebys.com/S2.
Banksy has become arguably the most famous artist of his generation, having risen from humble beginnings as an outsider even in the subculture of graffiti art.
Alongside other visionaries such as Ron English, he is credited with graffiti’s transition from the aerosol abstracts and “bubble writing” favoured in the 1980s to the narrative-driven “street art” of today. Almost unique to Banksy’s street art however are the shrewd use of context, the written word, chutzpah and humour that define graffiti in a historical sense. He is also distinct in his democratic vision, for example favouring the populist mass media as a means of communication rather than the jungle drums of his own niche demographic. The artist also pioneered the use of alternative venues for the display of street art with his 2003 warehouse exhibition Turf War.
Lazarides founder Steve Lazarides worked with Banksy whilst he was employed as the picture director of the magazine Sleaze Nation, when the title played a tiny part in cultivating the artist’s early career. Steve became Banksy’s de facto agent, a working relationship that ended in early 2009. Banksy’s own organisation Pest Control is now the sole representative of the artist.
Banksy Unauthorized, Retrospective Exhibition
Monday – Friday | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 June | 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM S|2 Location: 31 St. George Street, London W1S 2FJ