Is the Banksy art exhibition in London worth it?

‘The Art of Banksy’ is the world’s largest touring exhibition of the street artist’s work. It opened in London’s Covent Garden in May and will run until November 2021.

We loved almost everything about this exhibition but there is one thing that I don’t agree with and that’s the price. This is definitely one of the more expensive exhibitions in London.

Read on and decide whether or not you want to add the Banksy exhibition in London to your list.

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Banksy Exhibition London
One of Banksy’s most famous works, Girl with a Balloon

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The Art of Banksy

Banksy Exhibition London
Radar Rat. Rats feature regularly in Banksy’s work

If you have an interest in street art then it’s well worth booking tickets for the Art of Banksy.

Not much is known about the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy. He has achieved worldwide fame for his anti-authoritarian art that has appeared on streets across the UK – and the world – since the 1990s. It’s commonly believed that Bristolian Robin Gunningham is the man behind Banksy although this has never been confirmed.

Given the elusive persona of the artist, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Art of Banksy has not been curated in collaboration with the artist. Rather, the exhibition brings together some 60 pieces of privately-owned Banksy art.

Banksy Exhibition London
Another one of Banksy’s most famous images.

On display are prints and canvasses that were produced by Banksy between 1997 to 2008. Some of his most famous pieces are included such as the ‘Girl and Balloon’, ‘Devolved Parliament’ and ‘Rage, The Flower Thrower’ as well as many limited edition pieces.

The exhibition has already toured cities around the world including Miami, Sydney and Auckland. In London it’s being held in a large warehouse space that was once home to the excellent Belgo restaurant.

Tickets should be booked in advance and entries are timed. However, that doesn’t stop you having to queue.

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish…but that’s only if it’s done properly.”

– Banksy Wall and Piece

The first section of the exhibition is a timeline detailing Banksy’s early work. This includes his work as freehand graffiti artist with the DryBreadZ Crew (DBZ) in Bristol and his translation to stencil art. Also documented are some of his prankster projects including creating fake Paris Hilton CDs and placing them in shops.

This section is interesting but causes something of a bottleneck as visitors stop to read the text and strain to see if they can see Banksy in one of the photos hanging on the wall (you can’t!).

Once you get past this section, however, the exhibition space opens up and you’re greeted with dozens of Banksy artworks.

There’s little information to go with each piece of art, which is perhaps not surprising given the recalcitrant nature of Banksy. However, some additional text detailing where, for example, the artworks was first found would be interesting. What I did enjoy are the various quotes from Banksy placed around the exhibit.

“It’s a very frustrated feeling you get when the only people with good photos of your work are the police department.”

Banksy

We spent close to an hour at the exhibition and enjoyed seeing some of these famous artworks up close and personal. However, there is one thing wrong with the Banksy exhibition and that is the price.

Tickets cost £27.50 (£25.00 ticket price + £2.50 fee) for adults and £19.25 for children.

The Art of Banksy is located at 50 Earlham Street, West End, London, WC2H 9LJ.

2 thoughts on “Is the Banksy art exhibition in London worth it?”

  1. I completely agree, the price is a rip off, we paid for V.I.P tickets at just under £60 quid each, you get given a tote bag, a mug and a poster as a freebie for buying the expensive tickets, we have been to far better Banksy exhibitions with a lot more of his art work on show, The Moco Museum in Amsterdam was 10 times better and only cost £15 quid to visit, the gift shop is also very poor selling cheap souvenirs that you can buy any where, very disappointed with this exhibition

    1. Katja Gaskell

      That’s really interesting to hear, thanks so much for your feedback. We hadn’t seen any of his work exhibited before so did enjoy it but I don’t think it was worth the price tag. Good tip about the Moco Museum, thanks!

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