The Art of Banksy Exhibition


“We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves” – Banksy

Last weekend I went to see the Art of Banksy exhibition in Auckland. For a mere $37.50 (ahem – see below), you can go and point your eyes at around 80 Banksy originals. Until the 6th of February anyway.

Now I’m a big fan of social commentary, anarchy, art, and Banksy’s work in general, but I have to say I wasn’t exactly blown away by the exhibition.

It’s hard to pin point exactly why.

Perhaps it was because the exhibition was mainly screen prints. Although, I have to concede that perhaps my expectations there may have been too high – perhaps I thought that the side of a Bristol building might have been shipped over to display.

Or perhaps it’s because I just feel that the ticket price just wasn’t justified. I mean, $35 ($37.50) to look at screen prints? Especially as there is a perfectly good art gallery showing original works just round the corner for free.

I’m not a moron. I appreciate that there is a cost involved in bringing works of art half way across the world, but charging to look at screen prints also seems a bit anti the key messages of Banksy, which is to make art accessible for all. I mean, isn’t that the point of street art – it’s…err…on the street so that anyone can have a look. I just can’t see how people on low incomes, students, or anyone else who has other priorities in life for $35 ($37.50), can justify the cost. The ticket price is prohibitive.

Or maybe it’s because alongside the high ticket cost, the fact that most of the art work (bar one I think which was some warehouse panels from the US), maybe it’s also because the exhibition wasn’t curated by Banksy, but by his former manager, and was a collection of privately owned pieces by collectors. I don’t know why but it feels to me a little like ‘cashing in’.

Or maybe it’s just that I resent the sneaky Ticketmaster charges that apply to the $35 dollar entry fee which are applied whether you book online, or in person with cash, EFTPOS or credit card. Why would charges apply for cash on the door?!

Any anyway, this makes the ticket price $37.50. Not $35. Just say that $37.50 is the price. Not $35and then add a charge.

Or perhaps it was simply the irony of having to Exit through the Gift Shop.  Don’t even get me started on the fact that they were selling Banksy keyrings… #destroycapitalism


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