The Circle of Fine Arts of Madrid opens this Thursday, December 3, the exhibition ‘BANKSY. The Street is a Canvas‘, an unpublished sample in Spain that brings together some of the best known works of the British artist such as ‘Girl with an umbrella’, ‘Girl with a balloon’ or ‘Love is in the air’.
In total, this sample brings together more than 70 Banksy creations, which include a selection of unique works executed with different techniques: oil or acrylic on canvas, spray on canvas and wood, limited edition serigraphs, stencils on metal or concrete, sculptures, installations, videos and photographs.
A large part of the pieces, from international private collections, are exhibited in Madrid for the first time. In addition, a immersive multimedia installation specially created for this exhibition, it will welcome the visitor, revealing clues about the mysterious artist, highlighting his most important pieces.
Among the most recognized works in the show is the original silkscreen of the ‘Girl with a balloon’ series, similar to the one recently destroyed by the artist himself in an action at Sotheby’s, the London auction house.
Will also be ‘Nola’, ‘Girl with Umbrella’ (‘Girl with umbrella’) or ‘Rain girl‘(‘ Girl in the Rain ‘), which first appeared in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. NOLA is the polite abbreviation for New Orleans. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city and practically wiped it out. The levees, which were supposed to protect the city from flooding, broke.
The hurricane left thousands of deaths. In 2008, as Hurricane Gustav approached New Orleans, Bansky painted 15 graffiti on city streets in the midst of the evacuation, reflecting people’s inability to deal with the elements. The one in the sample is one of the few remaining graffiti and is also the most moving image that tells the story of the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.
Another of the outstanding pieces is that of ‘Christ with shopping bags’ (‘Christ with bags’). This work was released in 2004 in an edition of 82 copies and, although it became a cult image, it has never been printed or reproduced again.
It is a satire on the distortion of the true meaning of Christmas. A party that for the author evokes values such as mercy, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude, turned into a day of unbridled consumption, in which gluttony and expensive gifts prevail.
‘Love is in the air’
Another of the works that can be seen is that of ‘Love is in the air’, also known as ‘The Flower Thrower’. There are many dealers and auction houses that carry out artistic studies and one of them, carried out in 2017, showed that more than half of the people asked recognized this work like a Banksy job.
In this piece, the artist portrays a protester who is participating in a street protest and whose face is hidden by a handkerchief. At first glance, it appears that he is throwing a Molotov cocktail, but if you look more closely, you can see that he is actually holding a bouquet of flowers.
Banksy created the first of these images in 2003 during his first trip to Palestine. The guide who led him to the wall assured him that on the other side there was never anyone watching, but, after completing the work, the artist discovered that there are snipers posted along the wall.
‘BANKSY. The Street is a Canvas ‘is a co-production of the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, IQ Art Management and Sold Out, also responsible for the exhibition’ BANKSY. Genius or Vandal? ‘, Visited by more than 600,000 people in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Madrid. It will be until next May 9.