By unveiling a black cloth, one enters the mysterious world of Banksy, the exhibition begins with the whole wall spray-painted with the words “Copyright is for losers”.
Right next to this never seen graffiti piece visitors are greeted with one of Banksy’s most famous artwork “The girl with the balloon”. Banksy is famous for being the world’s most mysterious graffiti artist, to some, he is a prankster but to others an artistic genius.
This summer in Prague, “The world of Banksy” is an exhibition set up in the building “Manes” right next to Jiraskovo Namesti tram stop. Visitors are immersed in Banksy’s world where they are greeted with spray-painted walls showcasing various aspects of his art. New artworks and the recreation of his most famous graffiti. The exhibition can be divided into five sections: Street Gallery, Stencil Graffiti, Banksy and Art History, and The Bethlehem Wall.
The first section Street Gallery gives life some artwork from the UK’s walls that have been either removed or spray-painted over. The artwork “ No Ball games” which in 2009 was originally painted by Banksy in Tottenham, in north London has been removed and sold in auction for £500,000.
Also, the artwork “No Future” being one of Banksy’s most moving pieces displayed on a residence in Southampton was painted over just seven days after being displayed in November 2010.
An introduction to Stencil Graffiti is the “Napalm Girl” is the reproduction of the most famous photograph that captures a young girl running away during the bombing of Vietnam during the seventies. This stencil graffiti is a remarkable piece of art since it’s so life-like and the emotion of terror in the girl’s face is juxtaposed by the hand holding American symbols of smiling mickey mouse and Mcdonalds.
In the art and history section, is where the message of Banksy’s artwork is highlighted. The lighting is brighter in this section which is illuminated by the glass ceiling. As an artist, he poses many questions but yet no answers. By the repainted artwork “Bomb Hugger” are spray painted words in both Czech and English “The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages”. Above this text are hanging police officers with angel wings and bright smiley faces. This painted image using both words and pictures is bone-chilling.
The Bethlehem wall is by far the most creative aspect of the whole exhibition. The replication of the wall showcases 9 morals by Banksy. These can be found on the wall separating Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories of Gaza and the west bank. Amongst these 9 morals, the most significant are the “Flying Balloon girl” and the “Peace Dove”. As a twist, Banksy spray painted other messages on this wall such as “Make Humans Not Walls” and “ Make America Safe Again”.
The exhibition ends with Banksy’s artwork framed elegantly in black frames showcasing his work in a way that hasn’t been seen before. For example a drawing of a rat wearing a peace sign as a necklace holding the sign “ Get Out While You Can”. Overall, this exhibition is truly eye-opening and provides a great glance in Banksy’s mysterious world.