Tue, Mar 05, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Banksy exhibit opens at Taipei’s Bellavita mall

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Girl With Balloon by UK-based street artist Banksy is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Phillips auction house

An exhibition of works by street artist Banksy is to open in Taipei on Saturday next week, featuring more than 20 pieces.

Curated by Phillips auction house and titled “Banksy: The Authentic Rebel,” the exhibition, to run through March 24, is to be held at the Bellavita shopping mall in the city’s Xinyi District (信義).

The UK-based artist is a visionary and trailblazer at the forefront of street art since the 1990s, Phillips deputy chairman and head of private sales Miety Heiden said.

“Banksy’s works challenged perceptions of fine art versus street art,” Heiden said, adding that the works highlighted in the exhibition illustrate the achievements the street artist has made over the past two decades.

Banksy, whose identity has not been revealed to the public, rose to fame by ridiculing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed through graffiti, paintings and screenprints.

Inspired by the thriving graffiti community in his home city, Bristol, Banksy’s works began appearing on trains and walls in 1993, and by 2001 his spray-painted art had cropped up all over the UK, becoming instantly recognizable, Phillips said.

The artist once again caught the world’s attention when he partially shredded Girl With Balloon moments after it sold for £1 million (US$1.3 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in October last year using a mechanical device he had hidden in the frame.

Phillips regional general manager for Taiwan Cindy Yen (顏楚紋) said that the auction house is excited to introduce Banksy’s art to the Taiwanese public.

Some of Banky’s most iconic works to be displayed include Flying Copper, Love is in the Air, and AP Gold, Phillips said.

After holding an exhibition of Banksy’s work in Hong Kong in November last year, Phillips is intent on promoting his work to the fine arts market in Asia.

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