LAND OF SUNSHINE
Documenting street art and graffiti in melbourne and beyond
THE ART OF BANKSY MELB
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I was contacted about The Art Of Banksy exhibition coming to Melbourne a while ago, and I had mixed emotions. It was not authorised but at the same time all the eighty original artworks were sold by Banksy himself thus creating a secondary market for his works. I was assured there were no pieces in the exhibition removed off the street, which I am totally against and the topic of an upcoming documentary called Saving Banksy. This exhibition had previously been in Turkey followed by Amsterdam and was soon heading to Melbourne, one of the great street art cities of the world. Back in 2003, Banksy himself visited the city, left a stack of stencils on the streets, and now thirteen years later nearly every one of those pieces has disappeared except for a dozen or so still on the walls inside Melbourne venue Revolver. Banksy evokes so many strong and varied emotions in this town – they absolutely love him or they think he is a sell out, they hate the basic one layered stencils he did here yet everyone goes mad if any are destroyed, lots of Team Robbo comments still surface and there are even copycats popping up
With such a massive local street art scene in Melbourne, I suggested the organisers include local artists into the mix somehow. They said it hadn’t been done before at the other cities and may not be approved – I still believed it would be a great opportunity to showcase some of our best local talent alongside such an influential street artist. With the whole show unauthorised I thought let’s push for it anyway and let’s face it – Banksy started his career doing whatever he wanted without being authorised. Adnate was first to get involved and was commissioned to paint two large murals – the first he painted Jess, the second one turned out to be a controversial tongue in cheek Caravaggio style work of The Taking of Christ with Steve Lazarides as Judas – with Adnate clearly taking a swipe at Banksy’s old mate and former agent. Fourteen other Melbourne artists were chosen to paint a panel each – all of which will be sold via an online auction at the end of the exhibition raising money for charity. Artists included Bailer, Be Free, Conrad Bizjak, Jack Douglas, Makatron, Mike Eleven, Psalm, Sirum and 23rd Key…  with DVATE, George Rose, Heesco, Putos and Ruskidd also painting larger works inside the bar and on the exterior walls…  with a massive thanks to Danny and Loop Colors for their incredible support.

 

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