The Art of Banksy – the major London exhibition which has brought Banksy’s era defining works to over 1.5 million visitors in 15 cities across the globe – includes previously unseen artworks.
As the world’s largest collection of original and authenticated Banksy art showcasing more than 150 pieces including prints, canvases, unique works and fascinating ephemera, The Art of Banksy presents some extra special exhibits including a global exclusive – the first ever Flower Thrower.
In 2003 Banksy unveiled Flower Thrower – also known as Love Is In The Air – for the first time, becoming one of the artist’s most recognizable works. However Banksy had already created an initial artwork in 1997, depicting a man throwing a bunch of flowers, as a Valentine’s Day gift for his then girlfriend.
This work has never been shown in public until now. The original Flower Thrower is on show together with information about the origins of the image and testimonies by the photographer who first captured the image that inspired Banksy not to mention the actual “flower thrower” himself!
The second public debut is Mona Lisa. This signed but previously unknown work was originally bought directly from the artist by a Hollywood A-list actor in 2003. In 2022 it was returned to Banksy who developed the work further and created a brand-new artwork incorporating the original. Earlier this year it was sold to a collector who has agreed to lend it to The Art of Banksy collection for a limited time only.
There are also seminal artworks that brought the infamously anonymous artist international notoriety such as Girl With Balloon in three different colour variations and Rude Copper, alongside truly one-off pieces including stencils created and used by the artist, hand drawn sketches and personal works that Banksy created for friends, associates and lovers. The exhibition also focusses on Banksy’s Dismaland, The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem and recent artworks acknowledging the ongoing war in Ukraine.
New for London and for the first time, close associates of the artist share their personal stories giving unique insight into some of the world’s most famous images, engrossing background on how those headline-grabbing street art stunts were devised and how, with their irreverent wit and a biting political edge, this visionary took the art world by storm without ever revealing their identity.
The Art of Banksy is an unmissable show for anyone who wants to learn more about one of the world’s most important current artists and what their work reveals today; the power of art to affect social change, inspire the public and lay bare the undercurrents of social issues.
The exhibition moves on from its Regent Street venue after this week. But don’t fear, its new London location is due to be announced very soon. In the meantime, it would make a great alternative Valentine’s experience on Wednesday!
Watch this space: www.artofbanksy.co.uk