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Official Banksy exhibition coming to Glasgow - his first solo show in 14 years

An event marshal surveys some of Banksy's work at the soon-to-open show
An event marshal surveys some of Banksy's work at the soon-to-open show Copyright Getty Images
Copyright Getty Images
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art set to play host to the elusive artist's first solo show in 14 years from Sunday 18 June.

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Banksy has announced he’ll hold his first official solo exhibition in 14 years.

The graffiti artist’s show, called ‘CUT & RUN: 25 years card labour’ is set to open at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art from Sunday 18 June.

The show will feature work from across Bansky’s career and there'll be new versions of many of his famous works using the original stencils.

Highlights will include ‘Kissing Coppers’, which first appeared on a pub wall in 2004 and ‘Mobile Lovers’ which popped up in 2014.

Banksy previously hosted a collaborative art project called ‘Dismaland’ in a closed seaside resort in 2015 alongside over 50 fellow artists, including Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst and Jimmy Cauty.

The street artist, who has never revealed his identity but is thought to be from the Bristol area of south west England and about 50 years old, released a statement ahead of his latest show: "I've kept these stencils hidden away for years, mindful they could be used as evidence in a charge of criminal damage”, adding, “but that moment seems to have passed, so now I'm exhibiting them in a gallery as works of art. I'm not sure which is the greater crime".

ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images
The exhibition will be staged at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern ArtANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The exhibition will put on display Banksy’s behind-the-scenes creative process, featuring original sketches alongside the stencils, which have been given a new lease of life thanks to the artist painting directly onto them.

The show also shines a light on the background to the apparent stunt in 2018, when Banksy’s ‘Girl With Balloon’ painting was partly shredded during an auction at Sotheby's in London in 2018, immediately after it had been sold for £1 million - approximately €1,165 million.

AFP
'Love Is In the Bin' on display at Sotheby's in London, 2021AFP

Straight after the sale, an alarm went off inside the frame and the picture dropped into a hidden shredder, before a malfunction meant that the process stopped just over halfway through.

Banksy explained it was now an entirely new piece of work called ‘Love Is In The Bin’ - and it turned out to be an incredible investment for the original buyer, who sold it for more than 20 times what they had paid for it just three years later. A detailed model will be on show at the exhibition explaining how he pulled it off.

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Banksy's 'Girl Frisking the Soldier' mural is seen inside a shop in Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories on December 28, 2022Getty

Also on display will be pieces previously only seen in Bethlehem in the West Bank, including a pillow fight between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian citizen as well as the Union Flag stab vest worn by rapper Stormzy when he played at 2019’s Glastonbury Festival.

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Stormzy's stab proof vest and ‘Kissing Coppers' on display at the Glasgow showGetty Images

Banksy’s most recent show was in 2009 at Bristol Museum, but he has held an exhibition in Glasgow before.

In 2001, he was a relative unknown when he collaborated on the ‘Peace Is Tough’ show in the city with Jamie Reid, best known for his design work with British Punk band The Sex Pistols.

The event was reportedly poorly attended and stencil-based works he created around Glasgow no longer exist, so the new show will be rather a different experience for all involved.

Banksy has been dogged by unofficial and unauthorised exhibitions in recent times, including ‘The Art of Banksy’, which will return to London in September and apparently boasts some 1.5 visitors globally, selling itself as ‘the world's largest collection of original and authenticated Banksy artworks’.

Clearly taking it on the chin, Banksy addressed the exhibitions in his statement ahead of his Glasgow show: "While the unauthorised Banksy shows might look like sweepings from my studio floor, ‘CUT & RUN’ really is the actual sweepings from my studio floor".

‘CUT & RUN’ runs until 28 August, and will stay open nights at weekends.

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