An exhibition of artworks by street artist Banksy will go on display on April 4 in the Arena Mall, Herzliya, featuring around 80 paintings, prints and sculptures from about 40 international private collections.
The exhibition, called “The Art of Banksy,” will be on display until April 18 and will feature artworks produced over the last 20 years. The pieces of art criticize topical subjects such as the gaps between capitalist consumer cultures and Third World countries, and the modern representation of terrorism.
Named in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential figures in the world, Banksy's career began in Bristol in the 1990s, where he enthusiastically participated in the city's graffiti scene.
In the early 2000s, he adopted stenciling as a technique, and became part of the art movement now known as street art.
As of 2014, Banksy was regarded as a British cultural icon, with young adults from abroad elevating the artist alongside a group of people that they most associated with UK culture, which included William Shakespeare, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin, J. K. Rowling, Elton John and Adele.
Even so, Banksy—the artist's nom de guerre—has never revealed his real identity or name. It has been postulated that the secrecy in which his name is shrouded stems from the illicit nature of graffiti.
“Some of Banky’s charm, is that people from around the world can wake up one morning and suddenly see an art piece by him, usually in neighborhoods known for having a lot of immigrants, where you wouldn’t expect to find artworks,” said Gal Ofer, an art advisor on behalf of Zappa, a company involved in organizing the exhibition.
He added that in many instances walls were broken down in order to steal the artist’s creations.
The irony of exhibiting artworks which criticize the consumer culture in a shopping mall is clear to most, but Banksy is not reported to be involved in its the display's planning.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)