Buzz art contributor and photographer Megan Derry reviews the exhibition “Banksy, Genius or Vandal?”
Banksy Genius or Vandal? You can decide for yourself as the current exhibition of his art provides a measurable quantity (more than 80 genuine and authenticated works) in textural and auditory context to consider this question. Even if you are not familiar with the elusive and anonymous artist, this show presents a historical parade of his most notable work that is astounding. You can view the installation as a celebration of street art, graffiti and performance art OR as a blistering commentary on the current state of man and civilization. But however sobering Banksy’s works may appear, he also understands the power of satire and dark wit. The photographs and short film of Dismaland – a “sinister twist on Disneyland” – is a powerful demonstration of the artist’s black humor.
Ultimately the viewer is invited to peel back the shiny false facade of consumerism, prejudice and warfare and peer into the black abyss of excess. And one cannot help but wonder as you move through the show…”is Banksy watching? Is he standing here next to me?” Voyeurism is a powerful tool used expertly by the artist.
Highly recommended is the VR experience at the end of the exhibit, which takes you on a whimsical journey through the reimagined ice-cream colored streets of Bristol. A palate cleanser for sure.
You will “exit through the gift shop” (a reference to the artist’s 2010 documentary) wanting to know more about the Banksy…a testament to both the artist and this exhibition.
Here’s another bit of local trivia, too: we had Banksy in the neighborhood! Check out our story from 2013, when Buzz founder Mary Hawley reported on the $209,000 sale of a Banksy at the former Valero Gas Station at Beverly Blvd. and La Brea Avenue.
The exhibition “Banksy, Genius or Vandal?” is located at 10113 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, EE. UU. – Building D. It features more than100 genuine and certified works from a private collection, though it has not been authorized by the artist. According to the exhibit website, Banksy does not authorize any exhibition of his works. Tickets start at $29.50 for weekdays and can be purchased here. Opening hours (time slots available every half hour): weekdays: 10am–7pm (closed on Tuesdays); weekends & holidays: 9am–8pm; duration: 60 to 80 minutes; age requirements: suitable for all ages.