Turkish company Istanbul Entertainment Group (IEG) has produced the exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides, the elusive artist’s former agent, along with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and some of the country’s top businessmen.
“The opening last month featured a surreal collection of actors dressed up as some of Banksy’s most famous images: a masked protester throwing a bouquet of flowers; a winged policeman in riot gear with a yellow smiley face; a young girl hugging a bomb” the WSJ article read.
The article reiterated that Banksy had “nothing to do” with the exhibition, quoted by the artist’s team.
According to WSJ, the gift shop of the exhibition has been creating “the most buzz”.
"The Art of Banksy" that has opened its doors to visitors at the Global Karaköy on Jan. 14 exhibits special collections and installations from different terms of the artist, in accompaniment of modern technology.
The “Gerilla artist” is known for his unsettling political street art, and as “one of England’s most celebrated modern-day political satirists”.
“Frequently painted over, covered up or chopped out of walls to be sold to the highest bidder, British street artist Banksy’s politically charged work has found an improbable new home in Istanbul, where a Turkish investment firm is hosting an unauthorized retrospective that includes a ‘fake’ gift shop doing brisk business” the article explained.
WSJ underlined that Banksy had no relation with the exhibition.
“Instead, Kemal Gürkaynak, chief executive of Istanbul Entertainment Group, which worked with Mr. Lazarides on the exhibition, said it is a tribute to the artist and activist—one he hopes will bring Banksy’s ideas to a global audience in ways the artist hasn’t been willing to do himself, especially the mass production of his images. ‘My aim is to make him more commercial and more commercial and more commercial’ Mr. Gürkaynak said” the article added.
Pieces of several other collectors across the globe are also displayed along with the Banksy collection, known as the largest collection of the artist with 85 different works.
In different sections designed with different choreographies, visitors can find themselves in one of London’s street while enjoying Banksy’s art, while wandering between shops or using the London tube.
During their visit, Turkish musician Fahir Atakoğlu’s music prepared only for this exhibition accompanies people.
Following Istanbul, "The Art of Banksy" will meet art lovers in different metropoles of the world, said the exhibition team.