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Overview of Banksy Shows, Exhibits & Pranks


Overview of Banksy Shows, Exhibits and Pranks

‘Theft is bringing street art inside and then charging an admission fee.’



Banksy has produced and organized several major exhibitions in the UK and in the US that have allowed him to share his works and messages with the world. However, the artist has never created what one would call a “traditional” art exhibition. Each and every Banksy show is a carefully curated experience. Typically lasting for a only few days, the shows are always free to the public.
Reminiscent of Yves Klein who created innovative art happenings in France in the 1960’s, such as live painting on naked women, having the attendees drink Methylene Blue so that it would turn their urine blue, or playing the monotone symphony which he composed himself (comprised of one, single note) – a Banksy exhibit is guaranteed to make a statement.
Banksy is particularly fond of playing “pranks” or creating art installations that stimulate a conversation and let the public know exactly where he stands on the often contentious issues facing society. He does this in a thoughtful, artistic way – and uses the vast media coverage to shine a light on issues he feels need our attention.


In September 2018, in response to the preponderance of “Banksy exhibitions” organized all over the world, the artist added a new section to his website entitled “Product Recall.” He did this in order to make clear to the public that many Banksy exhibitions had been organized “entirely without the artist’s knowledge or involvement” – as a way to clearly draw a clear line in the sand between his work and those who attempt to leverage his status and/or work without his involvement. As outlined in the image below, Banksy has made all of his exhibits free to the public (with the sole exception being Dismaland – and even that was merely £3).

‘Please treat them accordingly.’



Bristol, February 2000

New Paintings, Photographs, and Graffiti
Extremism in Defense of Liberty is No Vice

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Rivington Street Tunnel

London, May 2000

Graffiti Art Live and Direct in London
An Illicit Outdoor Gallery Experience

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Los Angeles, July 2002

An Exhibition of Graffiti, Lies, and Deviousness

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Turf War

London, July 2003

An Exhibition of Graffiti, Stencils, Slogans and Live Animals

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Crude Oils

London, October 2005

A Gallery of Re-Mixed Master-Pieces, Vandalism, and Vermin

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Barely Legal

Los Angeles, October 2006

A Three-Day Vandalized Warehouse Extravaganza

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The Cans Festival

London, May 2008

A Street Party of Stencil Art

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The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill

New-York, October 2008

Do You Want Flies with That?

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Banksy vs. Bristol Museum

Bristol, July 2009

First Banksy Museum Exhibit in his hometown of Bristol

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Better Out Than In

New-York, October 2013

One Month Artist’s Residence in the Streets of New-York

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Weston Super Mare, 2015

A Family-Themed Park unsuitable for children

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The Walled Off Hotel

Jerusalem, March 2017

The Hotel with the Worse View in the World

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Gross Domestic Product

London, October 2019

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Museum Pranks

October 2003 – May 2005

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Between 2003 and 2005, Banksy entered various major museums in London, Paris and New York to hang his own artworks on the walls.
The first time he did this was at the Tate Britain in October 2003, where he placed Crimewatch UK Has Ruined the Countryside For All of Us. The following year he pulled the stunt again – this time at the Louvre Museum, hanging a copy of the Mona Lisa with a big, yellow smiley face. This was only the beginning…

Di-Faced Tenners

August 2004

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In August 2004, Banksy produced a quantity of fake GBP 10 pound notes, replacing the picture of the Queen’s head with the head of Diana, Princess of Wales. Someone threw a large amount of Di-Faced Tenners into a crowd at the Notting Hill Carnival that year.

Paris Hilton Debut CD

August 2006

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In August/September 2006, Banksy placed around 500 copies of Paris Hilton‘s debut CD in UK record stores replacing it with his own cover art and remixes by Danger Mouse.

Love Is In The Bin

October 2018

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On 5 October 2018, a version of Balloon Girl was sold at Sotheby’s London for just over £1 million. While the crowd was still applauding the record result and smiling, a remote was used to send the canvas through a shredder hidden within the frame, partially shredding the picture. Banksy certainly got the whole world buzzing with this stunt as even folks who were not art collectors heard about this as it received worldwide news coverage.
Banksy, via social media, expressed disappointment that the entire painting was not shredded in the aftermath and again taught us to “expect the unexpected” when it comes to him. Ironically (or maybe not) Banksy partially destroying the work caused its value to skyrocket immediately. Although this piece has not returned to the auction block since it was first sold, it was estimated that the value doubled after this stunt. Perhaps the message here highlights the ridiculousness of society valuing such a work only after it has been destroyed.

The Venice Biennale

May 2019

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On 22 May 2019, Banksy posts a short video on his Instagram account stating “setting out my stall at the Venice Biennale.”
Banksy wrote, “despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.” Never one to despair, Banksy took to the streets to display some of his work. Naturally, the unauthorized display was quickly identified by the police who ushered the vendor (and his paintings) away. Yet again, Banksy shows us that these institutions have enormous responsibility since they effectively serve as gatekeepers and directly shape what messages society sees.


Santa’s Ghettos

December 2002-2007

A Squat Art Concept Store

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Art In The Streets

MOCA, Los Angeles, April 2011

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