On 2 June 2018 in Moscow, a personal exhibition of Banksy, a mysterious British street artist opened in the Central House of Artists. Approximately 100 exhibits, including unique original works, 3D objects, rare prints and photographs by Banksy, and much more, is exhibited for the first time in Russia.
A man of mystery and of a catch-me-if-you-can type, a provocateur and prankster, he has changed the public opinion of street art. Banksy’s artworks, full of irony and wit, aimed against politics, war and capitalism are becoming the desired catch for journalists, photographers, vandals, art critics and collectors. The so-called Banksy effect, a great interest to street-art and street artists started in 2006 has blown up the art market – graffiti works made on the brink of kitsch are sold at prestigious auctions at record-breaking prices. Banksy’s art is modern mythology wrapped in mysteries, intrigues, provocative acts, and scandals.
Banksy’s Moscow exhibition has been a long time coming. A major retrospective was announced in the fall of 2014 at the Manege exhibition hall, but it fell through in the end because several British owners of key masterpieces declined to take part.
As the show’s producer, Aleksandr Nachkebiya, told RT bringing Banksy’s art to Russia was a real challenge as many owners, both museums and private collectors, “reacted to the relations between Russia and Britain,” which are in shambles after the Skripal poisoning.